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Local authority recorded fly-tipping

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  • Release date: 29 November 2018
  • Period covered: 2017-18
  • Next update: 28 November 2019
Summary of fly-tipping incidents, enforcement actions and prosecution outcomes.

Care should be taken when interpreting these figures due to changes and improvements in data reporting mechanisms and associated guidance (see Quality Report).

Key points

  • During 2017-18, local authorities in Wales reported 35,434 fly-tipping incidents, representing an annual decrease of around 3,200 incidents (8 per cent).  This compares with an annual increase of 6 per cent in the number of incidents between 2015-16 and 2016-17. Previously, the number of incidents had consistently fallen from a peak of nearly 62,000 incidents in 2007-08 to around 31,700 in 2014-15. Care should be taken when interpreting these figures as changes are due to improvements in data reporting mechanisms and guidance as well as new initiatives. For example, the recent annual decrease is partly due to changes in reporting procedures in one local authority. (1)
  • The annual change in the number of incidents at local authority level varied, with the highest percentage increases in Carmarthenshire (70 per cent) and Powys (42 per cent).  The increases are due to improved recording of incidents, as well as the introduction of new systems and initiatives. The largest percentage decreases were in Swansea (52 per cent) (1) and Vale of Glamorgan (47 per cent).
  • The number of fly-tipping incidents on highway land (i.e. public highways or roads) decreased to just over 19,000 incidents.  The majority of reported incidents (54 per cent) occurred on this type of land during 2017-18.
  • The proportion of fly-tipping incidents involving household waste decreased to 68 per cent in 2017-18, down from 70 per cent in 2016-17.
  • Estimated fly-tipping clearance costs decreased to £1.9 million in 2017-18, falling from £2.2 million a year earlier.
  • During 2017-18, 35,136 enforcement actions were taken in Wales; a decrease on the 37,594 taken in 2016-17.  Of those where local authorities carried out prosecutions, 81 per cent resulted in a fine.


(1) Following clarification of guidance documentation on fly tipping in 2017, side waste - excess waste placed next to a bin - are no longer reported as fly tipping incidents.

Background information

The statistics are based on the returns made by local authorities to the Waste Data Flow database. Although some are recorded, the statistics do not cover all fly-tipping incidents on private land, and not all incidents of fly-tipping will be reported to the local authority.


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