Fly-tippers cost council tax payers £85,938

Rubbish left on waste ground in Dean Road
Rubbish left on waste ground in Dean Road

Scarborough is the fourth worst area in Yorkshire for illegal dumping of waste according to new figures published this week.

But Scarborough council has defended its record and has promised to prosecute offenders where possible.

This week’s survey, which was carried out by the GMB trade union, showed that there were 5,797 cases during 2010/2011 – more than Wakefield, Leeds and Hull. Sheffield was the worst performer, out of 324 councils in England, with 58,080 incidents.

Steve Reynolds, the council’s environment and countryside manager, said that staff aimed to record all cases of fly-tipping under DEFRA guidlines.

He added: “We do record individual sacks of waste as fly-tipping. I suspect that is why our figures appear relatively high. Compared to last year the figures have risen slightly but overall the levels have been about the same over the last few years. There are obvious cost implications for all local authorities in dealing with fly-tipping.”

Mr Reynolds said that it was the huge cost which led DEFRA to establish its Flycapture database – which requires all local authorities to record cases of fly-tipping so the problem could be accurately quantified.

He added: “Flycapture also calculates an estimated cost of dealing with fly-tipping – in Scarborough, for the last year, this figure is estimated at £85,938.

“In respect of enforcement action Environmental Services investigates all significant incidents of fly-tipping in order to try to find evidence of its origin.

“Where evidence is found then action can be taken against those responsible. This could be prosecution through the courts or a formal caution and in every case the council will seek the costs of dealing with the incident.”

Brian Strutton, the GMB national officer saidthe majority of incidents involved household waste and it made sense to invest in more waste and recycling centres to make it easier and cheaper for the public to dispose of it properly.