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Summary of fly-tipping incidents, enforcement actions and prosecution outcomes for April 2021 to March 2022.

Care should be taken when interpreting these figures due to ongoing changes and improvements in data reporting mechanisms and associated guidance.

This period covers the main period of restrictions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Care should be taken in comparing the 2021-22 results with previous years since it is not clear which effects are short term because of the pandemic and which are longer term.

More information can be found in the quality report.

Main points

  • 41,333 fly-tipping incidents were reported in Wales. This is 1% more than the previous year. [footnote 1] Following a peak of nearly 62,000 incidents in 2007-08, the number gradually decreased until 2014-15, but has increased again during the past two years.
  • Annual change in the number of fly-tipping incidents varied across Wales. 16 local authorities reported a decrease and 6 local authorities reported an increase.
  • The largest annual increases were in Newport, and Swansea (87% and 26% respectively). According to the local authorities, this was partly due to restricted access to household waste recycling centres, multiple load figures and improved reporting mechanisms.
  • The largest annual decrease in fly-tipping incidents were in Gwynedd (46%), with considerable decreases in Wrexham, Flintshire, and Vale of Glamorgan (41%, 38%, and 35% respectively).
  • 73% of incidents involved household waste (black bag or other household waste).
  • Fly-tipping clearance in Wales was estimated to cost £1.93 million [footnote 2].
  • 29,820 enforcement actions were taken; the highest number of enforcement actions to be taken since 2017-18.
  • Of the 91 prosecution outcomes, 82% 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.
[2] Estimated clearance costs are based on the number of incidents broken down by size. This information is not recorded for all incidents. In 2021-22, size information was provided for 94% of 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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Stuart Neil

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