FLY-TIPPING has doubled in one part of North Hampshire whilst Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) were closed, Freedom of Information requests have shown.

Figures obtained by the Gazette reveal that whilst tips were closed between March 24 and May 11, there were 84 incidents of fly-tipping across the Hart district - more than double the 41 incidents reported during the same period last year.

Basingstoke Gazette:

And fly-tipping is up in Hart when comparing to the seven week period immediately before tips closed, where there were 51 occasions.

Similar figures can be found in Basingstoke and Deane, where the number of fly-tipping incidents increased by more than a quarter than in the seven weeks immediately prior to HWRCs closing (27 per cent - from 284 to 352).

However, there was not a big difference compared to the same period in 2019, where there were five fewer reports of fly-tipping in the period between March 24 and May 11, 2019 (347 to 352).

Basingstoke Gazette:

Reacting to the figures, Councillor Jack Cousens (Basingstoke and Deane Independents, Brookvale and Kings Furlong), said: "Any incidents of fly-tipping is disgraceful, and we should be doing our best to bring those people to account.

"That could just be because we are lucky that we have quite a large rural expanse in our borough.

"We need to get our waste scheme back up to as good a running order as it possible can do."

Meanwhile, Cllr Dermot Smith (Hart District Council, Independent, Hook) said that he was "not shocked but disappointed".

"It is not a victimless crime. Most often, it is those living in rural locations that have to pick up the bill.

"In April we were told that the fly tipping incidents were running high [in Hart], but not significantly and the contents were smaller.

"That fits with the tips being closed.

"Really, the [HCC] had no choice but to close with government restrictions. They are open now and although there are very long waits they are very well-run.

"Fly tipping is illegal, it is anti-social. If you can't dispose of the stuff don't organise the clearance.

"You have to hold onto that until you can get rid of it."

It has been anecdotally said that fly-tipping had increased whilst tips were closed due to coronavirus restrictions, although this is the first data that shows this.

BDBC's Cabinet Member for Environment and Enforcement Cllr Hayley Eachus said: “Fly-tipping is a blight on our borough and it’s heartening to see that most residents agree and continue to dispose of their waste properly.

"The number of reported fly-tipping incidents remains virtually the same when compared to the same period last year [in Basingstoke and Deane]. This is despite measures put in place during the COVID-19 outbreak to help protect residents and staff, including moving to alternate weekly waste collections and the temporary closure of the Household Waste Recycling Centre at Wade Road by the county council.

“I would like to again thank the vast majority of our residents for their understanding during this difficult time and for their efforts to recycle more and store dry waste at home, rather than fly-tipping. In doing so, they have played a key part in allowing our stretched resources to focus on providing essential help to the most vulnerable people in our borough during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“However while the recent number of fly-tipping incidents is similar to the same time last year, any fly-tipping remains entirely unacceptable and we will take action against those responsible. Whether it is on public or private land, I would encourage anyone with any information about an incident to contact us directly either online at or by phoning 01256 844844.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Hart District Council said: "Hart District Council takes the issue of fly-tipping extremely seriously and will look to prosecute anyone identified as doing so. It is a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of £50,000.

"Fly-tipping involving the use of a vehicle may also have serious consequences to the vehicle owner as the courts can order its seizure.

"We spend considerable amounts of time and money removing fly-tipped rubbish from country lanes, waste ground and even alongside other people’s houses. We urge residents to call our Contact Centre on 01252 622122 if they believe someone is fly-tipping, giving details of the incident, and, if possible, a vehicle registration number. Alternatively they can report it online through fixmystreet at

"The Council can only remove dumped rubbish from public land. Rubbish dumped on private land is the responsibility of the landowner."

Hampshire County Council have been contacted for comment, but have not responded so far.


What is fly-tipping?

According to Keep Britain Tidy, fly-tipping is defined as the ‘illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a licence to accept it’.

Tipping a mattress, electrical items or a bin bag full of rubbish in the street causes a local nuisance and makes an area look ugly and run down. At the larger end of the scale fly-tipping can involve several truckloads of construction and demolition waste being tipped on different types of land.

Uncontrolled illegal waste disposal can be hazardous to the public, especially if it contains toxic material or asbestos. There could be a risk of damage to watercourses and soil quality from the dumped waste.

In 2016/17 more than one million incidences of fly-tipping were dealt with by councils in England. The estimated cost of clearing up this waste was over £58 million.

Fly-tipping is a serious criminal offence for which you can be prosecuted. The courts have various powers available to them to tackle fly-tipping, including imprisonment, substantial fines of up to £50,000 orders to pay costs and an order to deprive rights to a vehicle used to commit the offence.