MORE than £500,000 was spent on clearing up fly-tipping in Gwent in 2021, it has been revealed.

According to the latest figures there has been 10,078 recorded incidents of fly-tipping in the Gwent region last year (2020-2021).

More than 1,500 incidents of fly-tipping were recorded in Blaenau Gwent last year, with firefighters tackling a rubbish fire in July.

South Wales Argus:

Manmoel Common is a particularly problematic area along with Cefn Manmoel which straddles the border between Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly (which had more than 2,700 incidents of fly-tipping recorded).

Torfaen had more than 800 recorded incidents of fly-tipping last year, with a sofa, washing machine and other household waste dumped on Varteg Hill in autumn - with some calling for tougher fly-tipping enforcement in Torfaen.

South Wales Argus:

A map showing fly-tipping incidents in Monmouthshire (between September 1, 2020, and August 31, 2021) shows that – for this local authority – the Gwent Levels are the worst affected area in terms of fly-tipping.

South Wales Argus:

But the most notorious fly-tipping hot spot in Gwent is Newport’s ‘road to nowhere’ – a disused road in Coedkernew, which was formerly the LG access road. The road was so cluttered with discarded tyres, fridges, sofas, and household waste that the rubbish could be seen from space on Google Maps satellite images.

South Wales Argus: The road to nowhere before and after being clearedThe road to nowhere before and after being cleared

Due to this CCTV cameras were set-up, resulting in two men – Bradley Robert Lynn, 23, of Splott, and Connor Anthony Leighton, 28, of Trowbridge – being fined after they were caught depositing controlled waste at the site on two separate occasions. Newport City Council also issued five fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping offences on the road, and seized two vehicles involved in the offences.

The site was cleared in October and Friends of the Road to Nature hope to turn it into a haven for nature.

The number of recorded fly-tipping incidents for each Gwent local authority this year is:

  • Newport – 4,060
  • Caerphilly – 2,751
  • Blaenau Gwent – 1,661
  • Torfaen – 857
  • Monmouthshire – 749

Four out of five Gwent local authorities saw a rise in fly-tipping incidents, compared with last year, while Torfaen saw a slight drop – with nine less incidents recorded in the latest data.

Newport saw the most significant rise in cases of fly-tipping when compared with last year – 4,060 compared with 2,725 last year.

You can read more on last year’s fly-tipping data for Gwent here.

The latest data reports that more than one million pound was spent on clearing fly-tipped waste across South East Wales this year – with £531,826 reportedly spent on clearance in Gwent, broken down as follows:

  • £183,430 in Caerphilly
  • £159,474 in Newport
  • £110,379 in Blaenau Gwent
  • £40,556 in Torfaen
  • £37,987 in Monmouthshire

What have councils said about this persistent issue?

A spokeswoman from Caerphilly County Borough Council (CCBC) said: “As with other local authorities we have areas that are more common for fly-tipping. These are primarily remote locations such as the commons, mountains and remote lanes located in the borough and are often shared boundary locations.”

She added that they take a “zero-tolerance” approach to fly-tipping, investigating every complaint received.

“Where there is sufficient evidence, we take enforcement action including fixed penalty notice and/or prosecutions,” she said.

“Anyone caught littering is issued with a fixed penalty notice which must be paid, or prosecution proceedings are started.

"We also work closely with local communities and are investing in new equipment such as hidden cameras to help alleviate the issue and aid investigations.”

CCBC also works proactively to create behaviour change campaigns, in partnership with Natural Resources Wales, Welsh Government, and Gwent Police.

A spokesman for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council said: “While cleanliness levels are improving, we still face the ongoing challenges of fly-tipping. There are areas of land, usually large open public spaces, where there can be recurrent incidents of fly tipping.”

He added that they have a “zero tolerance” approach to fly-tipping and investigate and recover evidence where possible, carrying out proactive audits of businesses to ensure legal disposal of waste”. The council has also secured external funding to invest in CCTV technology to target fly-tipping hotspots. 

A spokeswoman for Torfaen County Borough Council said they take a “proactive approach” to raise awareness of the consequents of fly-tipping, investigating all incidents.

She added: “Households are legally responsible for waste that is disposed incorrectly, and residents can face a fixed penalty notice or face prosecution if their waste is discovered fly-tipped, irrespective of whether they committed the act.

“If households cannot leave rubbish out for our waste and recycling crews, they can take it to the Household Waste Recycling Centre in New Inn, Pontypool, which is open seven days a week, or arrange for a bulky collection.”

Finally, a spokeswoman for Monmouthshire – which recorded fewer incidents than other Gwent local authorities this year – said incidents there are generally “small scale and diffuse”. Although some locations get targeted more than once she said this is “no more than two or three times a year.”

Newport City Council has also been contacted.