£50k saved in battle against fly tipping

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A CRACKDOWN on fly tipping has saved local taxpayers nearly £50,000.

Lewes District Council is bucking the trend and reported a reduction in the number of fly tipping incidents across the District.

The Clean and Green Investigation Team has caught more offenders and recovered clean up costs from those responsible for illegal dumping of rubbish.

In the last two years, more than 150 investigations have been undertaken. Crown and Magistrates courts have heard nine of the most serious offences which have all resulted in prosecutions. In addition, ten formal cautions and 55 warning letters have also been issued.

The success of the investigation team has been a major factor in the reduction of fly tipping incidents reported. In 2009/10, 464 incidents were logged, down from the 940 incidents in 2005/6. This 49 percent reduction has saved more than £48,000 in clean-up costs.

In addition to this saving, the courts have awarded the council more than £10,000 in compensation to pay for clean-up and investigation costs and issued fines totalling more than £5,000. The types of fly tips investigated have ranged from builders’ waste to household and green waste dumped in the countryside.

Fly tipping is a criminal offence. Magistrates Courts can issue a fine of up to £50,000 and/or six months imprisonment. Crown Courts can impose a prison term of up to five years and an unlimited fine. In addition the council can apply for vehicles used in offences to be forfeited. Lewes District Council has done so successfully on two occasions.

Cllr Eddie Collict, Lead Member for the Environment, said: “I am really pleased at the success of the Clean and Green team in tracking down and prosecuting the minority who dump rubbish wherever they think they can get away with it.

“Fly tipping is unsightly, dangerous, encourages vermin and costs all residents of the District a substantial sum of money each year through their Council Tax to pay for the clean up. Each success the Clean and Green Team has in tracking down an offender reduces both the damage to the environment and the cost to the taxpayer.”

Lewes District Council is committed to reducing incidents of fly tipping and ensuring that council taxpayers do not have to pick up the cost of this anti-social activity.

For more information about Clean and Green, to report a fly tipping incident or give information about people suspected in involvement in these offences call 01273 484999.