A GROUP believes awareness is key if Bradford is to crush its fly-tipping problem.

Figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs show there were 15,402 fly-tipping incidents in Bradford in the year to March 2023.

While the figures show a decrease from the 16,285 recorded in 2021-22, community group Bradford 4 Better says the reality on the ground is that hotspots remain. 

Most fly-tipped waste was discovered on footpaths and bridleways, accounting for 51 per cent of recorded incidents. This was followed by 21 per cent on highways.

The largest proportion of discarded waste was household waste, making up 39 per cent of all incidents.

While Bradford Council welcomed the fall in fly-tipping incidents, the authority said its officers will "continue to fight this problem which still blights parts of our district".

Community group Bradford 4 Better highlighted the importance of awareness.

"Some of the hotspots are still targeted," chairman Sohail Ahmed said.

"The reality is on the ground we still see high numbers, it looks pretty bad."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Members of Bradford4BetterHe added: "There is a great deal of awareness now out there.

"Social media campaigns from the Council, ourselves, and other littering-picking organisations have got the message out about where you can take the rubbish you have.

"Maybe that is what is coming into play now, people are more aware of the risks and dangers of fly-tipping and the laws against it.

"Education has been a key component of our campaign."

He said people may not always be aware of rules and regulations and added: "There is that consistent campaign in different languages for different communities to raise that awareness."

The number of fixed penalty notices issued across the country fell from 91,000 in 2021-22 to 73,000 in 2022-23, with 86 in Bradford.

While the average court fine increased by 13 per cent to £526, there were fewer fines given last year, with a total value of £785,000 compared to £837,000 in the year before.

In Bradford, £3,989 was paid by those found guilty of fly-tipping, according to the figures.

Mr Ahmed added: "A lot of fly-tipping is down to lazinesses.

"It is easier for people to just dump it in the nearest place they can find and nobody picks it up. Maybe it is ignorance instead of malicious intent.

"It is the broken window concept. When you go into an area and you see corners littered with fly-tipping, it gives you an impression of the area."

Recycling minister Robbie Moore, who is also MP for Keighley and Ilkley, said: “Fly-tipped rubbish is a blight on the landscape, and a burden on councils to clean up – so it’s absolutely right for councils to take strong action whenever a crime is committed.

“We are making solid progress – with enforcement up by six per cent and fly-tipping decreasing for the second year in a row – but we know there is more to do.

“That’s why we are helping councils to take the fight to criminals, with additional grants to tackle fly-tipping, higher £1,000 on-the-spot fines for offenders and powers to stop, search, and seize vehicles suspected of being used for fly-tipping.”

A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “These figures are encouraging and show that our messages on fly-tipping are getting out, but we will continue to fight this problem which still blights parts of our district.

“Fly-tipping is a criminal offence which will result in a court appearance, heavy fine and even a custodial sentence in some cases. We can also confiscate and crush vans being used to fly-tip.

“Householders also have a legal duty to pass their waste onto companies who are registered waste carriers, or they too can end up with a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record.

"Enforcement action can be taken against private landowners who do not deal with waste tipped on their land.

“We rely on people reporting any fly-tipping they find, so would urge anyone who discovers dumped waste to report it to us as soon as possible by ringing 01274 431000 or via this link https://www.bradford.gov.uk/transport-and-travel/report-issues/report-fly-tipping/ We can then investigate, take action to remove it and try to trace those responsible.”