Furniture firms should help cut costs of fly-tipping, say town halls

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Mattress and furniture retailers must help clear up fly-tipping to stop villages and beauty spots being “scarred and disfigured”, the Local Government Association (LGA) said.

The organisation wants manufacturers and retailers of bulky items to provide a “take-back” service to stop items being dumped - allowing people to hand in their old furniture when they buy replacements.

They are also urging firms to contribute to the clear-up costs as councils fork out £50 million a year dealing with the problem.

In 2013/14 they dealt with 850,000 incidents, 20 per cent more than the previous year. Nearly two thirds of fly-tips involve household waste. The call, made in a submission to the Government about tackling waste crime, comes as villages in Hampshire and Gloucestershire have been tarnished by fly-tippers.

Local authorities spent an estimated £17.3 million on enforcement last year, and want to be able to recover their prosecution costs after they take the fly-tippers to court.

LGA Environment spokesman Peter Box said: “Fly-tipping is at a record level and increasingly the country’s loveliest beauty spots and villages are being scarred and disfigured. This blight on our most beautiful countryside, towns and cities is costing councils a fortune.”