Sheffield named as fifth-worst fly-tipping hotspot in UK

Sheffield has been named as the fifth-worst place in the UK for fly-tipping, according to new figures.

Monday, 30th December 2019, 12:00 pm

Fly-tipping has reached epidemic proportions in England, with 501,226 incidents recorded across 77 of England’s major towns and cities in the last two years, according to findings by recycling firm, The Furniture Recycling (TFR) Group, and South Yorkshire is no stranger to the problem with both Sheffield and Doncaster both making the top five.

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More than 22,000 incidents of fly-tipping were recorded in Sheffield in 2018 and 2019, putting the city in fifth place while Doncaster ranked fourth with over 23,000 fly-tipping incidents in the same period.

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Picture shows an incident of fly-tipping at Chatham Street Car Park last year

TFR Group say that mattresses, which are often seen as difficult and expensive to dispose of, make up much of the problem nationally - nearly seven per cent of all waste illegally dumped.

With this in mind, councils across the UK are sure to be bracing themselves for ‘Fly-tipping Friday’, the first Friday of the new year which is believed by experts to be Britain's biggest day for illegal dumping of unwanted goods and household waste.

Nick Oettinger, Managing Director of TFR Group, said: “While the government has made a number of steps towards addressing our waste problem, including granting local authorities the power to issue fixed penalty notices for small-scale fly-tipping in early 2019, and proposals to launch a ‘fly-tipping toolkit’, there’s still a long way to go to tackle our waste crisis.

“It’s clear there needs to be a greater focus and wider awareness on the circular economy, where products are designed and produced with recycling and the end of its life in mind, at both local and national level.

An incident of fly-tipping in Robey Street, Page Hall, in 2017. Photo: Shaun Outram

“With our research showing that the UK is set to run out of landfill capacity by 2022, the UK industry of manufacturers and retailers need to work together to create a joined up solution to create a circular economy - that’s the only way to truly solve our recycling and waste crisis.”

Furthermore, the recycling firm said inconsistent reporting across councils could indicate a much larger problem of dumped mattresses and overall fly-tipping incidents.

Nick added: “Our findings also showed that local authorities handle their data in slightly different ways. For example, tracking the fly-tipping incidents by financial year or calendar year, whilst some local authorities could reveal the number of reported mattresses fly-tipped, while others were unable to detail down into the specific items.”

He said there needs to be a “consistent system” to ensure the UK can tackle the sheer scale of the waste problem.

For a fee, Sheffield Council offers a bulky waste collection service for large items such as furniture or electrical goods. For more information click here or to report an incident of fly-tipping click here.