�100,000 cost of fly-tipping to Suffolk

THE cost to taxpayers of picking up fly-tipped rubbish in Suffolk is more than �100,000 a year, new figures have revealed.

Elliot Furniss

THE cost to taxpayers of picking up fly-tipped rubbish in Suffolk is more than �100,000 a year, new figures have revealed.

Some district councils are now pledging zero tolerance on the illegal dumping of litter, vowing to prosecute the perpetrators when caught.

And both the Environment Agency and the County, Land and Business Association (CLA) have urged people to ensure anyone who is offering to dump their rubbish for them has the correct credentials.

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Last night, a Babergh District Council spokesperson, where �17,922 was spent on clearing up fly-tipped rubbish in 2008/9, said that not only was fly-tipping an eyesore and anti-social, but there was “simply no excuse” for it.

She said: “Babergh takes a zero tolerance stance with fly-tippers. Officers will search every fly-tipping incident for evidence before clearing it and also have direct link to the DVLA database in order to trace vehicles witnessed involved in fly-tipping. Babergh also uses covert CCTV to monitor hotspots.”

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Although there have been no major recent incidents of fly-tipping in Ipswich, a spokesman for the council said a surfboard had been among items recently picked up.

She said much of the waste cleared away could easily have been taken to one of the household waste and recycling centres in the town where the council has spent �25,035 on the problem.

She added: “There is no reason to dump unwanted rubbish on the streets - always contact your local council to request advice or assistance to dispose of large household items.

“We ask for any incidents of fly-tipping on public land to be reported direct to the Cleaner Ipswich Hotline on 01473 433000.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal District Council said the cost of clearing away fly-tipped rubbish was included in its annual cleansing services budget of �600,000.

He said: “We would also remind householders that under the new laws they have a duty of care towards their own waste, which means that if we find their waste dumped illegally then they can be fined up to �5,000, even if they did not actually dumping the waste themselves.”

The number of fly-tips in St Edmundsbury has declined, and a borough council spokesman said it took incidents “very seriously”. It has spent �22,929 on clearing up fly-tipped rubbish in 2008/9 and last year it prosecuted two people for six separate offences relating to fly-tipping.

Waveney District Council has reported that its Keep Lowestoft Tidy campaign has had an impact, with the number of cases of fly-tipping down.

Forest Heath District Council, where �31,049 has been spent on clearing up fly-tipped rubbish, has recently purchased “covert surveillance equipment” to assist help identify and deal with offenders.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said residents had a responsibility to check out the credentials of anyone offering to dispose of rubbish for them.

He said: “If people are taking away your old kitchen or some building rubble they should have a special licence to do that. Householders can check that by ringing our helpline on 0870 8506506.”

Rob Wise, regional advisor for the CLA in East Anglia, said there were plenty of “unscrupulous” people waiting to take advantage of the expensive cost of disposing of large or hazardous waste only to dump it on public or private property, passing on the cost to someone else.

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