A RAPID spike in fly-tipping is ruining green spots around Oxfordshire.

New figures have revealed Oxford is now the county's worst-hit area for fly-tipping with just over 900 cases reported in just six months.

The city council says this number is on the rise and has urged people to 'dispose of waste properly'.

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Board member for customer focused services Nigel Chapman said: "Fly-tipping remains a blight both in the city and across the county.

"Dumped rubbish can be a danger to the public and needs to be removed quickly, and the city council, along with our partner Oxford Direct Services, is committed to clearing up fly-tips as soon as we can."

Since April, the council said it had received 901 reports of flytipping in and around the city, and the number is continuing to rise.

This is despite the latest figures from Government showing the city saw a drop in cases during 2017/18.

The statistics show in 2016/17 financial year there were 1,749 flytipping reports, which fell several hundred to 1,405 in 2017/18.

This number is still more than double that of anywhere else in the county.

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2017-18 countywide

  • Cherwell – 620 incidents/350actioned/£2,500 prosecution costs/£735 in fines
  • Oxford – 1405 incidents/549actioned
  • South Oxon – 700incidents/1012actioned/£10,000prosecution costs/£7,615 in fines
  • W. Oxon – 512incidents/587actioned
  • Vale – 397incidents/542actioned/£8,092 prosecution costs/£10,644 in fines

Total – 3,634

2016-2017 countywide

  • Cherwell – 538 incidents/798actioned/
  • Oxford – 1749 incidents/293actioned
  • South Oxon – 480incidents/879actioned/£3,000prosecution costs/£5,340 in fines
  • W. Oxon – 481incidents/661actioned
  • Vale – 288incidents/415actioned/£2,427 prosecution costs/£2,777 in fines

Total - 3,536

Though Oxford saw a drop in 2017/18, the council has warned of a steep rise since the figures from April 2018 were compiled.


Mr Chapman urged offenders to change their ways, saying that dealing with the problem wasted council time and taxpayers' money.

He said: "Clearing away fly tips costs money; money that could be spent on other front-line services if it were not for those who break the law by dumping their rubbish in this way and who risk a criminal conviction.

"Everyone has a legal duty of care to dispose of their waste in a proper manner."

In October 2017, Oxfordshire County Council introduced a new pay scheme at recycling centres which some feared would lead to an increase in the problem.

It included changes in charges for dumping DIY waste, and was a way of staving off recycling centre closures.

County council spokesman Chris Dyson said the authority was unaware of any statistics which showed a correlation between the charges and a rise in fly-tipping.

He added: "The charges for construction/DIY waste have been in place for nearly 16 years and we’d like to use the opportunity you’ve given us to dispel any misunderstanding that these charges are new.

"Regrettably, we are aware that fly tipping is increasing nationally, but there can be no excuses for fly tipping in Oxfordshire’s countryside."

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The past two years have also seen the infamous Oxford 'superdump' at Redbridge Hollow finally cleared up – at a cost of £65,000 – and replaced with a children's playground.

Across Oxfordshire, the latest government figures show the overall problem has risen by almost 100 cases in the past year from the 3,536 flytips reported in 2016/17 to 3,634 in 2017/18.

The worst increase in Oxfordshire was seen in South Oxfordshire where cases rose from 480 incidents to 700.

Chairman of the Oxfordshire branch of the Country Land and Business Association Richard Binning, who also farms in South Oxfordshire, said tackling flytipping should be a 'top priority' as the reality is that 'true figures are even higher' with many incidents unrecorded.

He added: "Private landowners are liable for any waste dumped on their land and are fed up of having to clear up other people’s mess and paying for the privilege.

"It is also environmentally damaging and unsightly for large piles of rubbish to be dumped in Oxfordshire’s country lanes, fields and gateways."

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Elsewhere, fly tips in the Vale of White Horse rose from 288 to 397 in the same time period, from 481 to 512 case in West Oxfordshire and 538 cases to 620 in Cherwell.

Chris Donlan, who lives in Bucknell near Bicester, said he had seen a definite rise in flytipping in the north of the county.

He said: "Fly tipping has become particularly prevalent on the small country lanes approaching our village.

"Middleton Stoney Road has become a regular dumping ground for old tyres, rubble bags, even a fridge on one occasion.

"I don't think we are the only village that suffers from fly tipping which has fast become a real problem in and around Bicester in general.

"It's all rather sad that there are people who have no respect for the environment, or to animal welfare or for their own community."

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Mr Donlan said the problem often came about when people handed their waste to rogue firms which then did not discard of the materials properly.

New financial penalties came into force on Monday from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to help crack down on fly-tipping.

Any householder who fails to pass their waste to licensed carriers, and whose waste is found fly-tipped, could now face penalties up to £400.

Mr Binning added: "It is vital that more prosecutions are brought forward successfully to encourage people to do the right thing and dispose of their rubbish through proper legal channels.

"Councils are achieving some results targeting offenders, which we applaud, and local authority recycling centres are a vital service which need funding, and not subjected to the closures and cuts we are seeing in other counties.

"More must be done to send a clear message to fly-tippers that they will face strong consequences."