Fly-tipping costs Pendle Council £800k to clear up

Fly-tipped rubbish

Fly-tipped rubbish

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Fly-tipping has cost Pendle Council almost £800,000 to clear up and investigate between 2012 and 2015, latest figures show.

There were 3,745 recorded incidents of fly-tipping in Pendle in 2015/16 and there have already been 2,202 cases between April and August this year.

Fly-tipping

Fly-tipping

This is projected to rise to 5,285 by March 2017 if the current rate continues which would be the highest amount in five years and could cost the council £300,000 alone to clear up and prosecute.

It was revealed this week that North West councils are spending a combined £7m. a year dealing with the issue.

In 2012/13 there were 5,065 incidents of fly-tipping in the borough which in 2013/14 rose to 4,369. The number then dropped to 2,762 in 2014/15 before rising to last year’s figure of 3,745.

Pendle Council’s Environmental Crime Team officers make regular patrols of the borough as part of their duties dealing with fly-tipping, littering and dog fouling offences, according to David Alexander, its Senior Environmental Crime Officer.

He said: “When we find fly-tips, or when residents report them to us, we search for evidence within the rubbish to try and find where it could have come from.

“If we find something we then follow up leads to try and catch the culprits. We can, and do, prosecute residents and businesses who commit environmental crimes.

“The penalties for fly-tipping are steep. Anyone found guilty of fly-tipping faces a fine of up to £50,000 or even a sentence of up to five years in prison.

“So far this year we’ve prosecuted 48 businesses and households for waste disposal offences, not including littering.”

Coun. David Clegg, who oversees Environmental Services, added: “The council also does what it can to avoid fly-tippers from dumping their rubbish in the first place.

“We make regular domestic collections of rubbish and recycling. And we collect bulky household items, such as large pieces of furniture, cookers or fridge/freezers, for free.

“We also provide a bulky DIY collection service to remove items such as those from small building projects.

“And we offer a competitive trade waste collection service which can be tailored to the needs of customers in relation to the number of collections each day, week and month.

“In addition we have two household recycling centres in Barnoldswick and Burnley so there really is no reason for fly-tipping to occur.”

Residents are encouraged to report any incidents of fly-tipping to the council via its website at www.pendle.gov.uk/envirocrime or by calling 661743.

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