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Cleaning up after fly tippers costs the east’s councils £4.34m

Fly tipping incidents are on the up, according to council statistics.
Fly tipping incidents are on the up, according to council statistics.

Clearing up after fly tippers cost Council Tax payers in the east of England nearly £4.34 million in 2016/17

New Government figures show fly tipping cost English councils £57,667,483 and St Edmundsbury Borough alone spent £18,412 clearing 334 incidents. Yet the majority, in all areas, involved household and garden waste which can easily be disposed of legally.

St Edmundsbury’s incidents included 22 of large household appliances and 207 of household waste. In spite of ending free brown bins, only 25 incidents were ‘green’ rubbish compared to 37 in Mid Suffolk and 31 in Breckland. Only 14 were building debris, though five were asbestos.

Forest Heath did better with 264 costing £11,898, including 30 household appliances, 161 of household waste and 19 of building debris.

A West Suffolk councils spokesman said: “People who fly tip are lazy, ignorant and irresponsible. We have seen success through targeting hotspots, issuing fines of £200, and we have seen a decrease in fly tipping in Forest Heath as a result.

“Residents also need to be aware there is a responsibility on them to ensure they are using a registered waste carrier, rather than paying someone who is perhaps cheaper, to dispose of rubbish. That can lead to the homeowner being prosecuted.

“We encourage residents to use Household Waste Recycling Centres to dispose of bulkier items. Alternatively, the councils’ household bulky waste collection service will collect items for a small fee.”

Mid-Suffolk spent £14,137 cleaning up 324 incidents, including 31 of appliances, 158 household waste and 31 building debris.

David Burn, Mid Suffolk Cabinet member for environment, said: “It’s anti-social, it’s dangerous and it’s costing our communities. Fly tippers need to know that we can and will take formal action.”

Breckland faced 1,060 incidents costing £60,631 to clear, yet it was only fourth highest among seven Norfolk councils. It had 731 of household waste, 87 of appliances and 68 building debris.

Paul Claussen, its executive member for place, said: “We all have a duty to dispose of our own waste responsibly and not expect others to pick up the bill. I would encourage anyone who witnesses a fly-tipping incident to report this to us using our online form.”

All councils have reporting facilities on their websites as well as details of their facilities for legally disposing of items which cannot be binned.

Country business body CLA East point out these figures do not include private land, where the land owner pays to clean-up.

Regional director Ben Underwood added: “Greater penalties should be imposed and enforced – including seizing fly-tippers’ vehicles – and victims should be better supported.”

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