New research has suggested fewer than one in 100 'on the spot' fines from local authorities in the North West for fly-tipping are actually paid.

The analysis, by LoveJunk, of Department of Environment, Food and and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) data shows the region's areas suffered a total of 132,034 such incidents in 2023.

The study found in 2023 local authorities in the North West issued a total of 6,016 fly tipping fixed penalty notice fines (FPNs), of which only 0.7 per cent were ever paid.

The government recently changed the maximum on-the-spot fine a council could set for fly tipping offences from £400 to £1,000.

The LoveJunk figures reveal Blackburn with Darwen Council in 2023 had 4,167 fly tipping incidents reported and issued 1,022 FPNs, of which 84 were paid.

Its analysis of the DEFRA figures says in Hyndburn borough in 2023 there were 2,634 incidents and 24 FPNs issued, all of which were paid.

For Burnley Council, the study says there were 2,811 reports of fly-tipping with 30 fines issued and just one paid.

Its figures for Ribble Valley borough in 2023 say there were 550 incidents with no FPNs issued.

According to the analysis, Pendle Council had 3,884 fly-tipping reports and issued 877 fines, of which none were paid.

It says Rossendale had 948 incidents and issued 199 FPNs, of which none have been paid.

Blackburn with Darwen Council's Labour environment boss, Cllr Jim Smith, said: "We take fly-tipping very seriously and issue FPNs as a penalty and deterrent.

"If they are not paid we take those responsible to court but many of the cases are caught up in a backlog of legal proceedings."

Hyndburn Council's Conservative environment boss, Cllr Stephen Smithson, said: "The figures are misleading and don’t give a true reflection of what we have been doing to tackle this ongoing issue.

"In 2023/24 we issued more than 2,000 Section 46 warning notices and issued 167 Section 46 fixed penalty notices.

"We received a £50,000 fly tipping prevention grant from the government and we have put this to good use by purchasing cameras and fencing to prevent fly tipping in two local hotspot areas."

In a January report to colleagues, Burnley Council environment boss Cllr Howard Baker said that during the last two months of 2023, 20 individuals had been prosecuted for waste offences and a further 49 fixed penalty notices for fly tipping and incorrect waste presentation offences had been issued.

LoveJunk’s founder, Jason Mohr, said: “Tracking down offenders and then enforcing payment is challenging and expensive.

"So, increasing the maximum penalty by a few hundred pounds is unlikely to change anything.

“The simplest way to reduce fly tipping is to stop giving rubbish to fly tippers.

"And the easiest way to do that is for people to only use a licensed waste carrier and never pay for the service with cash."