Huge cost of fly-tipping in Suffolk

A MASSIVE £120,000 of taxpayer's money has been shelled out clearing rubbish left by flytippers in Suffolk over the past two years, the Evening Star has learned.

A MASSIVE £120,000 of taxpayer's money has been shelled out clearing rubbish left by flytippers in Suffolk over the past two years, the Evening Star has learned.

Shocking new government figures showing the cost to councils across the country reveal there were a staggering 2,488 incidents of fly-tipping in the county between 2004 and 2006.

Amazingly, despite the scale of the problem, NOBODY was prosecuted for the offence between 2004 and 2005, while just seven people were prosecuted the following year.

Six of last year's prosecutions were brought by Ipswich Borough Council which paid a total of £19,168 on clearing 376 incidents.


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Glynis Wood, street care customer services team leader for Ipswich Borough Council, said the low number of prosecutions does not mean work is not taking place to address the issue.

She said: “We sift through every dumped bag of rubbish and send warning letters and ask people to pay to clear up their rubbish.

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“We follow up every lead but we rely on the public to be our eyes and ears.

“We would like to see more successful prosecutions but it is very difficult to prove.

“In order to stand up in court we need help from the public and good evidence like descriptions, car registration numbers and witnesses who are prepared to stand up and say what they have seen.

“Unless we were to have cameras on every street corner or every country lane it is not easy to get the evidence we need, however we follow up every bit of information we get.”

Neighbouring authority Babergh spent a whopping £37,862 clearing 685 cases of fly-tipped rubbish between 2004 and 2006.

Talking about the amount spent on clearing up the rubbish Joanna Hart, technical officer of waste for Babergh District council, said: “We have one officer who is dedicated to clearing the streets and he is given his own vehicle to do so.

“However, often there is a lot in volume or size and we have to get other vehicles in to help.

“One time we had to get a mini digger out because we had so much to clear.”

Ms Hart said the problems largely come from cowboy businesses who claim they will clear people's rubbish away.

She said: “People should always check to see if the rubbish collector is licensed and is carrying a Waste

Transfer Note.

“If they are in doubt they should call the Environment Agency hotline on 08708 506506.”

People in Ipswich are being urged to report fly tippers to the Cleaner Ipswich hotline on 01473 433000.

What should be done about fly-tipping?

Stats breakdown:

2004-05

n> Babergh District Council spent £21,035 on 343 fly-tipping incidents and had 0 prosecutions.

n>Ipswich Borough Council spent £17,888 on 341 fly-tipping incidents and had 0 prosecutions.

n>Mid Suffolk District Council spent £16,243 on 346 fly-tipping incidents and had 0 prosecutions. n>Suffolk Coastal District Council spent £13,146 on 311 fly-tipping incidents and had 0 prosecutions.

2005-06

n>Babergh District Cuncil spent £16,827 on 342 incidents and had one successful prosecution.

n> Ipswich Borough Council spent £19,168 on 376 incidents and had six prosecutions.

n> Suffolk Coastal District Council spent £14,084, on 388 incidents and had 0 prosecutions.

n> Mid Suffolk District Council recorded spending £2,061 on 41 incidents with 0 prosecutions but the figures for the year were not completed.

Fly-tipping costs the tax payer over £100 million a year (source: Environment Agency)

In 2003, 60,000 tonnes of waste were dumped in England and Wales alone.

82 per cent of councils have found fly-tipped rubbish on the verges of country lanes.

Other popular places include lay-bys, urban back alleys and outside tips.

70pc of councils believe they have a significant or major problem.

Together they received around 300,000 complaints about fly-tipping in 2002.

95pc of farmers have cleared up other people's rubbish from their land.

On average, farmers pay about £1,000-a-year to clear fly-tipping from their land.

99pc of councils operate a bulky item collection service for free or for a nominal charge.

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