Covid blamed for surge in fly-tipping incidents across Gedling borough

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Newly-released figures from Defra show that fly tipping across Gedling borough surged during the pandemic.

Between 2020/21, a total of 2003 incidents were reported, a significant increase from 2019/20, when 1359 were recorded.  

Incidents involving debris dumped by roads surged, with 1686 cases in 2020/21 – a surge of 38% if compared with 1359 incidents in 2019/20. 

In Gedling, construction/demolition and excavation waste incidents skyrocketed by 88% with 61 cases in 2020/21 from 7 cases in 2019/2020. 

Incidents involving black bags and other household waste were the most common instances, with 1,435 cases. 

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The most common size category for fly-tipping in Gedling in 2020/2021 was equivalent to a small van load, with 900 incidents reported.  

This data is in line with national statistics. 

For the 2020/21-year, local authorities in England dealt with 1.13 million fly-tipping incidents, an increase of 16% from the 980,000 reported in 2019/20. 

In terms of enforcement actions, national data shows a decrease of 4% from 474,000 in 20219/20 to 456,000 while the number of court fines issued decreased by 51% from 2,672 to 1,313 in 2020/21. 

In Gedling borough, actions taken by the council were also down. Only 30 actions in 2020/21 compared to 53 in 2019/20. 

Total fines mirror the national data. 998 in 2020/21, a drastic decrease from 2720 fines issued in 2019/20. 


The 2020/21 reporting period covers the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic where many local authorities were unable to maintain waste collection, with some suspending garden and bulky waste collection.  

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Many household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) were also closed.  

Moreover, staff shortages, staff being furloughed, and redeployment of existing staff may have exacerbated the issue and hinder the number of enforcement actions carried out during 2020/21.  

Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke said the surge in fly-tipping is down to a mix of different factors including COVID and lockdowns.  

He said: “Unfortunately, over the past year, many councils have seen an increase in fly-tipping incidents, caused by a number of factors including lockdowns, COVID measures as well as closures and reduced hours at recycling centres.” 

He also added that residents have a responsibility over their waste and how waste is disposed of. 

He said: “Fly-tipping causes serious harm to local communities; the environment and wildlife and residents have a duty of care to be responsible for removing household waste appropriately and using licenced removal companies. 

“Residents should be aware that if fly tipped waste is found and can be traced back to the household, they will be responsible, even if they didn’t dump it.  

“It costs the council to clean up fly tips and takes money away from elsewhere at a time when budgets are tight due to government cuts.  

“We take all reports of fly-tips very seriously and will do everything we can to prosecute those involved wherever possible. 

 “If anyone witnesses or has information regarding fly-tipping in the borough, please contact us on 0115 901 3901 or email [email protected].” 


  1. Usual Councillor Clarke angry response. Why not look at the cause, council tips have been closed or had restrictive measures meaning huge queues during this time. And when you get in, the staff there (at Calverton) are rude to the point of abusive. I don’t fly tip but I have a backlog of rubbish from home improvements and I dread going there.


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