Clearing fly-tipped junk came at cost of £37,500 for taxpayers in the last year
PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 June 2018 | UPDATED: 07:25 02 June 2018
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Waveney District Council (WDC) shelled out nearly £40,000 of taxpayers’ money over the past 12 months in its effort to clean up fly-tipped rubbish.
Statistics from the council show that £37,500 has been spent clearing fly-tipping across the region since June 2017, while a staggering 1,064 separate instances of people dumping their rubbish were reported.
But despite an average of more than 88 reported incidents per month, just 30 fixed penalties were issued by the local authority for the illegal deposition of waste and there were no prosecutions.
All of the top 10 worst streets in Waveney for fly-tipping were in Lowestoft, with Bevan Street West leading the way on 18 reported instances. London Road South fell victim to 15 incidents, while High Street and Oxford Road had 14 apiece.
Linda McSweeney, who has lived on Bevan Street West for 14 years, explained that the street has become plagued with fly-tipping issues.
“The problem has definitely got worse over the years,” said Mrs McSweeney. “It’s always really bad down here now.
“So much junk gets dumped, especially down alleyways. My neighbour - a lady in her 70s – couldn’t access her alley because someone dumped a load of bricks and she couldn’t move them herself. I’ve seen mattresses, armchairs - the lot.
“People just can’t afford to have their rubbish disposed properly or they’re too lazy. It’s a difficult situation because you can’t always catch people in the act.”
Another of the street’s residents added: “This road being the worst doesn’t surprise me as the alleys are always full of rubbish. The cost is surprising, though, and the money really could be put to better use.”
Elsewhere in Waveney, the worst streets for reported fly-tipping in Bungay and Beccles experienced an average of less than one instance per month.
Offenders used St Margaret’s Road in Bungay and Ringsfield Road in Beccles as dumping grounds seven and nine times respectively.
Hanif Jaffer, a volunteer at Waveney Community Care Farm Shop on Lowestoft High Street, gave his assessment on how to crack down on fly-tipping.
He said: “These days, people are put off by the price of dumping waste.
“The council must encourage people to dispose of rubbish responsibly. Having items collected free of charge could work, or increasing fines will frighten people from fly-tipping.
“A blight on our countryside”
The councillor responsible for environmental matters in Waveney has urged residents to look after their communities by eradicating fly-tipping.
Cabinet member for operational partnerships, Graham Catchpole, expressed the need for householders to conduct necessary checks before rubbish is removed from their homes.
Mr Catchpole said: “Fly-tipping is unpleasant, unnecessary and removing the waste is costly to the taxpayer, as well as a blight on our countryside.
“We will always remove reported fly-tipped waste from public land and work with landowners on private land, but we’d prefer to reduce the amount of waste being illegally dumped in the first place.
“Householders should carry out basic, legally-required checks, such as ensuring the person removing waste from their home is an authorised waste carrier.
“Identifying those responsible can be difficult as fly-tipping often takes place in areas where perpetrators are less likely to be seen. We would therefore ask residents to look out for fly-tipping and report information to WDC’s customer services team.