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Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many incidents of fly-tipping were recorded in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years; how much public money was spent as a result of fly-tipping during that period; and what steps the Government are taking to prevent fly-tipping. (99401)

Since the end of 2003, the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) has been responsible for dealing with the illegal disposal of waste on a commercial basis. Prior to that date, district councils were responsible but few, if any, of them kept records in the form requested.

During 2004 and 2005 EHS received between 1,000 and 1,200 reports of illegal dumping of waste each year. This year to date, 1,206 reports have been received. A minimum of 250,000 tonnes of household waste from the Republic of Ireland has been illegal disposed of in Northern Ireland to date. The costs associated with the removal of this waste are likely to be in the region of £30 million.

EHS will continue to rigorously investigate and prosecute all incidents of fly-tipping that are reported to it. EHS is also in the process of introducing a computer system known as ‘Fly Capture’ that will record and track all reported incidents. The system has proved very useful in GB with the publicity surrounding levels of fly-tipping and the costs of dealing with it arising from this source. If district councils take up the offer of the use of this system, appropriate data should be available for Northern Ireland within a year.