Real cost of fly-tipping revealed

LITTER bugs who illegally dump rubbish are costing local authorities in the East of England nearly £10,000 a day, environmental chiefs have warned.According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) there were a total of 70,000 incidents of fly-tipping in East Anglia during 2004/05.

LITTER bugs who illegally dump rubbish are costing local authorities in the East of England nearly £10,000 a day, environmental chiefs have warned.

According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) there were a total of 70,000 incidents of fly-tipping in East Anglia during 2004/05.

And the clean up operation for such behaviour costs in the region on £3.5m, which amounts to nearly £10,000-a-day.

The release of the figures was timed to coincide with yesterday's launch of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, which gives local authorities and the Environment Agency new powers to recover costs from offenders.

The legislation also gives local councils more effective investigatory powers to catch fly-tippers, while landowners and occupiers who have had to clear fly-tipped waste can also recover clearance costs.

Under the act local authorities also have the capacity to remove abandoned cars from the streets immediately.

Most Read

Glynis Wood, who works in street care at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “Compared to other large towns we don't have too much fly-tipping but it is still a problem because there is just no need for it. We have a number of free dumps across the town and a bulky refuse service. It's unpleasant for residents to see large bin bags or even fridges, freezers and mattresses dumped in the street.

“The new legislation will definitely help but because fly-tipping is done so covertly it will be of no use if we don't get the evidence. We always rely on reports coming in or information from residents or witnesses to catch fly-tippers because it is done so covertly.

“That's why it is so important for people who think they see someone who is illegally dumping rubbish to call the clean up hotline on 01473 433000.”

Meanwhile a spokesman for Suffolk Coastal District Council, said: “The authority has a team of people to deal with fly-tipping and this costs us around £100,000-a-year to fund. Unfortunately it is one of those problems for which there is no real excuse and no real alibi.

“We are concerned about it and treat the offence very seriously so we look forward to seeing what the Government has proposed and what they will provide.”

In June, Defra announced the first raft of measures in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, which included fines of up to £50,000 and five years in prison for those found guilty of fly-tipping.

Further measures which are expected to give local authorities even more powers against fly-tippers are expected to be announced in April next year.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter