One in 15 people in Leeds have admitted to illegally dumping their unwanted waste.
New research by Furniture Choice found that a quarter of those who fly-tip were unaware it was illegal.
The survey showed that 50 per cent of people said they did it because there was nowhere else to take their rubbish while 25 per cent said the cost of disposing of their waste properly was too expensive.
The survey was carried out in response to an increase in fines for fly-tipping – the maximum fine now stands at £95,000. But the findings showed that 89 per cent of respondents were unaware of any changes in the regulations.
Eighty-nine per cent of people who did fly-tip said they would be put off doing so by the possibility of receiving such a fine.
In response to the survey, an online recycling tool has been created to help people dispose of their rubbish safely and legally.
The tool will help residents identify their local refuse centres and avoid hefty fines while being kinder to the environment.
It features information on more than 700 locations with local council tips, charities and services.
Tom Obbard, director at Furniture Choice, said: “Informing the public on the safest ways to dispose of unwanted items is the most effective way of combatting the growing problem of illegal fly-tipping, which is why we created a recycling tool. Local authorities provide excellent recycling facilities so the online tool is designed to highlight this and, in turn, reduce the number of fly-tipping cases.
“It’s surprising that there’s been an increase in the number of people dumping waste illegally when the fine for doing so has dramatically increased. We hope that people will now make use of the recycling tool instead of succumbing to illegal dumping.”
Government figures show cases of fly-tipping have risen by 20 per cent in the past year, with local authorities reporting 852,000 cases across England.
Nearly two-thirds of these cases involved household waste. Other types include construction waste (six per cent), commercial waste (seven per cent) and white goods (four per cent). The most common place for fly-tipping to occur was on highways, which accounted for 47 per cent of total incidents in 2013/14.
Fly-tipping on footpaths, bridleways and back alleyways now account for 29 per cent of incidents while 17 per cent of incidents happened on council land.
The estimated cost to local authorities for clearing illegally dumped waste was £45.2m, a 24 per cent increase on 2012/13.
Visit: www.furniturechoice.co.uk/recycling-tool/ to use the recycling tool.
WHAT IS FLYTIPPING?
Flytipping is the illegal deposit of waste on land contrary to the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Flytipping is a blight on local communities, as it is a source of pollution, a potential danger to public health, a hazard to wildlife and a nuisance. It also affects legitimate waste businesses as illegal operators often undercut their prices.
Local authorities and the Environment Agency both have a responsibility in respect of illegally deposited waste, including removing waste and prosecuting offenders.