Regulations that were intended to ensure that domestic and industrial waste was disposed of safely and efficiently are leading to an increase in illegal and unsafe disposal says Jason Mohr MD and founder of Anyjunk.co.uk
"There is quite a bit of regulation in waste, and it's growing. This regulation, coupled with rising costs of disposal, means that a significant percentage of waste gets disposed of in an illegal way," said Mohr.
"That means it is transported by a carrier that's uninsured, overloaded or unlicensed; fly-tipped; or hazardous waste (like fluorescent tubes, CRTs or paint) ends up being mixed in with general waste to avoid the cost of processing and treating it separately."
AnyJunk conducted a survey using official figures obtained from councils under the Freedom of Information Act to study illegal tipping in 148 council boroughs across the UK earlier this year.
Rochdale was one council that experienced a large rise of illegal tipping with 2,352 incidents in 2009/10, up from 1,934 in 2008/9.
Anyjunk also found that the costs of clearing up illegal tipping also vary from council to council. Oldham council paid £100 per incident for 1,096 incidents. This compares to £56.61 per fly-tip for Trafford Council (which suffered 1,581 cases) and £68.36 in Bury (which suffered 2,625 cases of illegal tipping).
"We're not about naming, shaming and pointing the finger, but by raising awareness about the extent of the problem, we hope to be able to change things," said Mohr.
"With so much illegality going on and the clear duty of care being placed on producers of waste to dispose of it properly, you'd think legitimate operators would make a big song and dance about basic documentary compliance - for example, the importance of providing a correctly completed Waste Transference Note for each collection. However, there are still lots of licensed operators who don't appear to," he said.