One in six (17 per cent) of residents in the South East admit to illegal fly-tipping, according to new research.

The research, carried out by Furniture Choice, also revealed nearly a third (30 per cent) of those who dump unwanted waste don’t realise they are breaking the law.

It followed an increase in fines for fly-tipping - the maximum fine is now £95,000 - but found 79 per cent of adults in the South East are unaware of this change. 

However the possibility of being fined would put off 81 per cent of those polled who currently admit to fly-tipping.

Government figures show cases of fly-tipping have risen by 20 per cent in the past year, with nearly two-thirds of these cases involving household waste.

The survey revealed the top five reasons for fly tipping in the South East are:

1. There is nowhere else to take rubbish (38 per cent)
2. Unaware it was illegal (30 per cent)
3. It was the easiest option available (28 per cent)
4. The cost of disposing properly was too high (20 per cent)
5. Because they didn’t realise they were fly-tipping at the time (16 per cent)


In response to the findings, an online recycling tool has been created to help the public identify their local refuse centres and avoid hefty fines while being kinder to the environment.

Tom Obbard, director of Furniture Choice, said: "Informing the public on the safest ways to dispose of unwanted items is the most effective way of combatting the growing problem of illegal fly tipping, which is why we created the recycling tool.

"Local authorities provide excellent recycling facilities so the online tool is designed to highlight this and, in turn, reduce the number of fly-tipping cases."

According to Government statistics, local authorities reported 852,000 cases of fly-tipping last year, and almost 98 per cent of fly-tipping prosecutions resulted in a conviction.

The Furniture Choice recycling tool can be found at