South Holland taxpayers left with £60,000 bill from flytippers

THE COST OF DUMPING: Flytipping like this in Weston Hills is costing English taxpayers �58million to clear up, according to Defra. Photo supplied.

Flytippers who dump waste on isolated farmland and other areas around South Holland have been branded as “naive, ill-informed and ignorant”.

The damning criticism from Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, South Holland District Council’s cabinet member responsible for rubbish collection, came as new figures showed that it cost the council nearly £60,000 to clear up flytipping.

FLYTIPPING BILL: Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, South Holland District Councils portfolio holder for place which includes waste collection. Photo supplied.

Figures from the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) revealed that more than one million cases of flytipping were handled by district and county councils in England in 2016-17, costing taxpayers about £58million.

Coun Gambba-Jones said: “The temptation is there and social media has a lot to answer for because it’s far too easy for people to go online and find a man with a van who can get rid of their stuff.

“This is either because they haven’t got the transport to do it or they don’t want to spend the money themselves.

“A great deal of the flytipping experienced by the farming and landowning community is from those not wanting to pay the commercial rates for disposal, rather than to domestic waste from householders.

There are naive, ill-informed and ignorant people who think ‘I just want to get rid of this stuff’

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, South Holland District Council’s portfolio holder for place

“The only way we would be able to reduce this element of flytipping completely is if we offered a Rolls Royce service of free collections from every household, something that would be clearly financially unsustainable.”

According to the DEFRA figures, nearly 600 incidents of flytipping were reported across South Holland in 2015-16, rising to nearly 700 a year later or a jump of 12 per cent.

South Holland District Council has joined forces with Boston Borough Council and East Lindsey District Council to launch a “Most People” campaign, making people aware of their legal duty to make sure their waste is disposed of properly.

Coun Gambba-Jones said: “There are naive, ill-informed and ignorant people who think ‘I just want to get rid of this stuff’ and what surprises me the most is to see household waste dumped in Spalding when we have a recycling centre where people can get rid of it, with no questions asked.”

“Then there are people in the countryside who, to a certain extent, can’t be bothered and see it as easy enough to dump their waste in an isolated area where they are unlikely to be spotted.

“Jobbing builders, and those touting for business by doing house clearances, are required to have waste management licences and dispose of the waste they create or collect legally and at a commercial rates.

“But instead, flytipping is something these people choose to do to save money, knowing it is illegal and knowing how difficult it is for landowners to stop them and for councils to catch them.”

The flytipping problem is still prominent, despite the district council being part of Operation Fly Swat which involves prisoners at North Sea Camp in Boston who are coming to their end of their sentences clearing up flytipping.

According to a spokesman for Boston Borough Council, which covers Fosdyke, Kirton, Sutterton and Swineshead, the scheme has slashed the council’s flytipping bill by 80 per cent from nearly £104,000 to just over £20,000.

Coun Gambba-Jones said: “Working together with the drainage boards, housing associations, councils and the Environment Agency to use Operation Fly Swat in South Holland has been a win-win situation and is extremely good value for us.

“But we really want people to tell us, without putting themselves in danger, about flytipping because the sooner they tell us, the more likely we are to get the information to be able to do something about it.”

• You can report flytipping to South Holland District Council by calling 01775 761161 or online at www.sholland.gov.uk

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