Fly-tipping costs Suffolk councils £640,000 to clear up over five years
Authorities in Suffolk have spent £640,000 having to clean up five years of illegally dumped rubbish – an average £47 for every case of fly-tipping from 2012 and 2017.
The county’s district and borough councils dealt with 2,701 examples of fly-tipping last year alone – spending tens of thousands clearing away abandoned household and commercial waste.
Most was left on highways, footpaths or back alleys, where council workers had to remove everything from trash-filled black bags and vehicle parts, to washing machines and dead animals.
From April 2012 to 2018, 16,360 fly-tipping incidents took place in Suffolk – seven a day, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Not including last year’s bill, the clear-up cost came to £640,748 – with almost £150,000 spent in Ipswich and more than £200,000 spent in Waveney, where the council recorded 917 incidents and took action in 803 cases.
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The fewest offences were reported in Forest Heath (230) and Suffolk Coastal (234), where cases dropped almost a fifth (18%) and more than a quarter (27%) since 2012 – in which time, fly-tipping went up 9.5% county-wide, 29% across the East of England and almost 40% across the country.
Last year, English councils dealt with 998,000 fly-tipping incidents – two thirds involving household waste – while the number of ‘fixed penalty notice’ fines increased 20% to 69,000 from 2016/17.
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In March, Suffolk’s councils were given £10,000 in government money help keep the county’s major roads clear of rubbish.
The Suffolk Waste Partnership bid for the money from the Litter Innovation Fund – as part of efforts to persuade motorists to refrain from dumping rubbish.
David Bowman, chairman of the Suffolk Waste Partnership, said: “Fly-tipping is a burden on both council taxpayers and local landowners, leaving us with hefty bills to clear up, and spoils our beautiful countryside.
“It is criminal activity that can seriously pollute watercourses and contaminate land, and can result in a fine or imprisonment.
“We all have a legal obligation, or duty of care, to ensure that all waste from our household or business is disposed of correctly, so it is important to ensure that only people who have the necessary paperwork are allowed to take your waste away.”
Visit greensuffolk.org/recycling/fly-tipping for guide to reporting and tackling fly-tipping.