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Fly Tipping: Britain’s Rubbish Nightmare, 11 April 2024, ITV, “Tonight”

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In this episode of Tonight, ITV’s long-running current affairs series, presenter Lucy Verasamy investigates the scourge of fly tipping, exploring why Britain is facing an epidemic of junk being dumped across towns and the countryside.

The programme delves into the scale of the problem, revealing that local authorities in England dealt with over a million fly-tipping incidents in 2020/21, an increase of 16% from the previous year. The cost of clearing up this waste to councils is substantial, amounting to nearly £60 million in 2019.

Verasamy meets those affected by fly tipping, including a local timber merchant in South London who has been subjected to relentless fly-tipping despite setting up CCTV cameras as a deterrent. She also visits a farmer who has lost crops due to fly tipping and hears how it has impacted his livelihood.

The episode highlights the role of organised criminal networks in large-scale waste crime, as well as opportunist fly tippers, and examines the inconsistent enforcement and punishments that have led to a perception that fines are simply built into the business model.

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To combat the problem, some communities are turning to innovative solutions, such as artificial intelligence and satellite imagery to detect fly tipping hotspots, while others take a more direct approach, as seen through the work of Martin Montague, founder of the fly tipping reporting app ClearWaste, who goes undercover to catch fly tippers in action.

“Fly Tipping: Britain’s Rubbish Nightmare” provides a comprehensive look at the issue, shedding light on the impact of fly-tipping on communities, the environment, and the economy, and exploring potential solutions to tackle this growing problem.

Fly Tipping: Britain’s Rubbish Nightmare airs on ITV1 at 8:30 pm on Thursday 11 April 2024.

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Isabelle aka Izzy Jacobs is the UK previews specialist at memorabletv.com. Isabelle is particularly drawn to crime dramas, but she also has a not so secret love for all things reality TV. In addition to her work at memorabletv.com, Isabelle is also an avid traveler and a devoted foodie.

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