The Countryside Alliance has called on the government to introduce tougher penalties for fly-tipping and reduce its burden on the countryside by improving access to civic amenity sites.

Fly-tipping currently costs the Treasury £100m a year and is inherently hard to police. Nearly 2.5m incidents occurred in 2006, yet fewer than one in a hundred cases resulted in a prosecution.

To reduce the temptation to illegally dump waste, the CA suggests improving access to household waste sites by extending their opening hours and increasing their number. Government should also review what wastes are acceptable with the intention of harmonising admission policies across all sites.

Having made it easier for people to dispose of waste through legal means the CA says government should get tough with persistent offenders. To do this, it says, government should make tackling fly-tipping a priority by enhancing the role of local authority enforcement officers and improving the guidance notes given to magistrates. Local authorities should also be encouraged to improve communication with gypsy and traveller sites by arranging regular collections.

Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: “Everyone has a role to play in eradicating fly-tipping and this new report sets out how, with a ‘more carrot, less stick’ approach to waste disposal, we can achieve it.

“Making legal disposal of waste easy and hassle-free is key and access to information for individuals and businesses must also improve.

“In an age where we want to recycle and live in a sustainable, healthy environment, it is insanity to have restrictive and opaque rules governing waste disposal. A holistic approach is needed, and we will continue to campaign to see our recommendations taken up.”

The full report Fly Tipping: Time for Action is downloadable from the Coutryside Alliance website.