A DRAMATIC increase in ‘thoughtless’ fly-tipping cost Rugby taxpayers over £212,000 to clear up last year.
Over 2,450 illegal rubbish dumps were recorded in the borough in the financial year 2020-21 – a massive 81 per cent rise on the previous year, and way above the 27 per cent increase seen across the West Midlands.
Rugby Borough Council’s (RBC) deputy leader and spokesman for regulation and safety, Coun Derek Poole, said: “Given the pressure placed on council services during the emergency response to the pandemic, it’s incredibly disappointing we have been forced to devote so much taxpayers’ money and council resources to clean up after the thoughtless actions of a minority.
“Local authorities across England have experienced a sharp increase in incidents of fly-tipping during lockdown and the pandemic restrictions, and unfortunately Rugby has proved no exception.
“We operate a zero-tolerance policy on fly-tipping in the borough and investigate all incidents for evidence to link the rubbish to its owner. We also use CCTV cameras at known fly-tipping hotspots and when we collect sufficient evidence to prosecute, we have no hesitation in taking those responsible to court.
“However, we all have a duty to make sure we dispose of our household waste responsibly and legally, and keep our environment free from fly-tipping.”
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 under cover of darkness.
An agricultural expert warned the figures were not a true reflection of the cost of fly-tipping because they only included incidents on council land.
Rupert Wailes-Fairbairn of farm insurance specialist Lycetts 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.
He said: “The responsibility for removing waste from private land falls squarely at the feet of the landowners. If they fail to do so, they can face prosecution.”
He urged farmers and landowners to keep gates locked, set up security lights and cameras, report suspicious vehicles to the authorities, check their insurance cover, and ensure any rubbish dumped on their land is properly disposed of.
Householders have a ‘duty of care’ to check whether a business has a Waste Carrier Licence before paying it to dispose of household waste. If their rubbish is subsequently fly-tipped, the householder faces prosecution and a fine.
Visit https://tinyurl.com/2s3d5vvr or call the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 to check if a company has a Waste Carrier Licence.
Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/reportaproblem to report incidents of fly-tipping to RBC. Call the council’s community wardens on 0800 096 8800 to report suspicious activity linked to fly-tipping.