Fly tipping in the UK is a constantly recurring news item. We are becoming accustomed to scenes of vast amounts of rubbish strewn along farm lanes and back alleys.
Most fly-tipped materials are harmless but there is an increasing incidence of asbestos appearing in fly-tipped waste. Asbestos cement, probably from garage and shed roofs, is the main culprit.
Until recently, householders could take a small amount of asbestos to their local recycling centre and dispose of it free of charge in a dedicated asbestos waste skip. But the situation has changed dramatically over recent months due to the ever increasing costs of waste disposal and the need to control council budgets.
It is now normal for councils to charge for accepting asbestos waste. Whilst the charges may be considered quite modest, a cost is a cost! And some in our society are very relaxed about avoiding this cost by fly tipping.
A far more concerning trend is now developing with builders and private individuals fly-tipping high-risk asbestos such as pipe insulation and asbestos insulating board. The risks in removing high-risk asbestos, transporting it and tipping it are numerous. There are approximately 5000 deaths per year in the UK from exposure to asbestos fibres in the air, and unauthorised asbestos removal and tipping are likely to be major contributors to this statistic.
Also, there are financial penalties for those caught fly-tipping. Fines in the magistrate’s court for fly-tipping can be as much as £50000; fines are unlimited in the high court.
Fly tipping anywhere in the UK can be reported on the www.gov.uk website. This will route the report to the appropriate council for action. Alternatively, individual councils can be contacted directly.
Asbestos Solutions (North Wales) Ltd are used by Local Authorities to clean up fly-tipped asbestos waste. We are Registered Hazardous Waste Carriers with the Environment Agency.