Fly-tippers cost Rugby taxpayers over £90k in 2016-17 - The Rugby Observer

Fly-tippers cost Rugby taxpayers over £90k in 2016-17

Andy Morris 23rd Jan, 2018   0

OVER £90,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent cleaning up after fly-tippers in Rugby borough last year, as illegal rubbish dumping rose by higher than the regional average.

And an agricultural expert has warned this is just the tip of the iceberg as the figures do not include incidents on private land.

Over 1,070 fly-tips were recorded in the borough on council land in 2016-17, up by 24 per cent – above the West Midlands increase of 20 per cent – and costing Rugby Borough Council (RBC) £90,480.

The figures were released amid a seasonal surge in fly-tipping, when post-festive waste such as old Christmas trees tends to be illegally dumped.

RBC environment and public realm spokeswoman Coun Lisa Parker said everyone had a role to play in tackling fly-tippers.

She said: “While we do traditionally see an increase in fly-tipping offences in the New Year, and have done so this month, it’s a problem which blights our borough all year round.

“We operate a zero tolerance policy on fly-tipping and seek prosecutions when we can gather sufficient evidence, but it’s a problem we can all play a part in helping to solve.”

She added the council joined Keep Britain Tidy’s #CrimeNotToCare campaign a year ago to remind householders that they are responsible for their rubbish even when paying someone else to dispose of waste.

“I’d urge all residents to check a company or individual has a Waste Carrier Licence before handing over money to have it disposed of,” she added.

“Residents can also help by reporting fly-tipping incidents and giving information to help us find the culprits.

“Fly-tipping costs taxpayers thousands of pounds every year, damages our environment and also impacts on bona fide waste disposal businesses which abide by the law.”

Rob Matthews, of farm insurance specialist Lycetts, warned the figures were not a true reflection of the cost of flytipping because they only included fly-tips on council land.

He said farmers have to meet the ‘hidden costs’ of illegal dumping as they are responsible for clearing rubbish from their land – at an average cost of £1,000 per incident – and are also liable if the dumped rubbish damages the countryside.

He said: “I don’t think many farmers are aware that, should they fail to deal with incidences of flytipping on their land and it leads to environmental damage, they could be open to prosecution and face fines of tens of thousands of pounds.

He stressed the importance of having sufficient insurance for farming businesses.

“If farmers are unfortunate enough to have a flytipping ‘hotspot’ on their land, costs soon tot up and their business could be put in jeopardy,” he said.

He advised farmers to be vigilant, report suspicious vehicles to the authorities, check their insurance cover, find out about council-run waste removal schemes, keep gates locked, consider setting up security lights and cameras, and ensure any rubbish dumped on their land is properly disposed of.

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