One in six (17 per cent) of residents in the South-East admit to illegally dumping their unwanted waste, according to new research.
The research by Furniture Choice, conducted in response to increased fines for fly tipping, also revealed almost a third (30 per cent) of those who fly-tip don’t realise they are actually breaking the law.
The maximum fine for fly-tipping now stands at £95,000 but the survey found that 79 per cent of adults in the South-East are unaware of any change.
However the possibility of being fined would put off 81 per cent of those polled who currently admit to fly tipping.
Government figures show cases of fly-tipping have risen by 20 per cent in the past year, with nearly two-thirds of these cases involving household waste.
The survey revealed the top five reasons for fly tipping in the South-East are:
1. There is nowhere else to take rubbish (38 per cent)
2. Unaware it was illegal (30 per cent)
3. It was the easiest option available (28 per cent)
4. The cost of disposing properly was too high (20 per cent)
5. Because they didn’t realise they were fly-tipping at the time (16 per cent)
In response to the findings, an online recycling tool has been created to help the public identify their local refuse centres and avoid hefty fines while being kinder to the environment.
Tom Obbard, Director at Furniture Choice, said: “Informing the public on the safest ways to dispose of unwanted items is the most effective way of combatting the growing problem of illegal fly tipping, which is why we created the recycling tool. Local authorities provide excellent recycling facilities so the online tool is designed to highlight this and, in turn, reduce the number of fly-tipping cases.
“It’s surprising that there’s been an increase in the number of people dumping waste illegally when the fine for doing so has dramatically increased. We hope that people will now make use of the recycling tool instead of succumbing to illegal dumping.”
According to Government statistics, local authorities reported 852,000 cases of fly-tipping last year, and almost 98 per cent of fly-tipping prosecutions resulted in a conviction.
The Furniture Choice recycling tool can be found at www.furniturechoice.co.uk/recycling-tool/
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