FILTHY flytippers have cost a council over £68,000 in cleaning up dumped rubbish.
Hartlepool Borough Council had 969 incidents of flytipping in the town between 2012 and 2013 – with a portion of the figures being made up by residents of the town failing to use their waste bins and disposal services properly.
Council officers say the incidents of junk deposited across Hartlepool range from small piles of household rubbish up to larger deposits of scrap and tyres.
And they appealed for the public’s help in putting a stop to the dirty habit which could be avoided by people, and organisations, using legitimate channels of getting rid of waste.
A council spokesman said: “We will take action against anyone, both individual residents and commercial organisations, who fail to dispose of their waste properly.
“Where we have enough evidence, we will prosecute under the terms of the Environmental Protect Act which provides for a maximum penalty of a £50,000 fine and up to 5 years in prison.
“Residents, landlords and commercial organisations also have a Duty of Care to ensure that their waste is disposed of properly where they pay to have it taken away.
“If they receive a call from people offering to dispose of their rubbish for a fee, they should ask to see their Environment Agency waste carrier’s licence and take as many details as possible, including the name of the company and the registration number of any vehicle involved.
“The council also proactively monitors fly-tipping hotspots such as allotments, quarries, rural back roads/open spaces and industrial estates which are abused on occasions by fly-tippers on a much larger scale.”
He added: “We would also urge all householders to ensure that they dispose of their waste properly by putting all of their rubbish and recycling in the correct bins and or box and to take advantage of the council’s kerbside collection services.
“Residents should be aware that by putting out waste that is not contained within an authorised container or where collection has not been re-arranged – via the Council’s Bulky Household Waste Collection Service, for example – they are guilty of fly-tipping.
“We would also remind people that there are numerous recycling opportunities at the Household Waste Recycling Centre in Burn Road and if they are looking to dispose of large items the council operates a Bulky Household Waste Collection Service.”
The Goverment department Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) released the figures to highlight the problem.
A spokesman said: “Fly-tipping is unacceptable. It is unsightly, causes pollution and costs taxpayers millions of pounds.
“It also undercuts the vast majority of waste businesses that comply with the law.
“We will continue to work closely with local authorities, the Environment Agency and others to crack down on illegal dumping.”
Defra says that across England, more than two thirds of fly tipping is of household waste and nearly half is dumped on roads.
The good news is that the overall number of incidents dropped by four per cent from 2011-12 and the cost of clearance fell by three per cent.
However, fly tipping on footpaths, bridleways and alleys is on the rise, up by 10 per cent – meaning it now accounts for a fifth of all incidents.
Fly-tipping, or anyone who believes they have seen suspicious activity which could lead to illegal dumping, should ring (01429) 523333.