Six-figure cost to South Tyneside taxpayers of cleaning up after fly-tippers is revealed
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Figures collated on behalf of the Shields Gazette show that South Tyneside Council has spent nearly £500,000 in less than a decade clearing up after offenders across the borough.
The cost of tackling major incidents, defined as involving tipper lorries to clear up messes, increased from £5,980 in 2011-12 to £181,859 at the end of the last financial year and reached £481,359 in total.
According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) statistics, the number of such reports over the same period rose by more than fourfold from 133 to 636 and to 3,287 overall.
The council insists it “works tirelessly to apprehend those responsible” and earlier this week revealed that it had successfully prosecuted 18 offenders in the last year.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, the council’s lead member for area management and community safety, today added: “South Tyneside operates a strict ‘no side waste’ policy which means that if waste is not in a wheeled bin, it is recorded as being illegally dumped.
“Some authorities do not have a ‘no side waste policy’ so waste placed out for collection, but not in the wheeled bin, is not recorded as being illegally dumped.
“Our officers are pro-active when it comes to removing fly-tipped rubbish.
“We have an excellent track record of getting rubbish off our streets to ensure that our communities remain safe, healthy and clean.
“It is disgraceful that people think they can dump their rubbish in our borough.
“Fly-tipping is not only irresponsible and hazardous to the public and wildlife, but unsightly and costly to clean up.
“Clearing and investigating this type of illegal disposal of waste places a burden on the finances of the council and ultimately the tax payer.
“It is in everyone’s interest to report any incidents of fly-tipping to help identify those responsible for these crimes.”