Cost of fly-tipping problem revealed

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Fly-tipping is costing St Helens taxpayers thousands of pounds every year, new figures have revealed.

Figures released by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), shows there was 1,485 incidents of fly tipping reported to St Helens Council in 2014/15, which cost £90,230 to clear up.

Of the cases reported to the council, 290 were on a highway, 33 on a footpath or bridleway and 975 were in back alleyways.

More worryingly, one incident involved an animal carcass and in seven case asbestos had been dumped.

A council spokesman said: “Historically we’ve never had a serious fly tipping problem in St Helens. A national database currently places the borough in the lowest 25 per cent of areas in the UK for this type of incident.

“Fly-tipping is defined as ‘the illegal deposit of any waste onto land, or any waste dumped or tipped on a site with no licence to accept waste’.

“It generally consists of large items of rubbish dumped illegally on land - instead of being disposed of properly at a landfill site or tip. Smaller deposits of waste or bagged domestic waste in small quantities may be dealt with as littering offences or as breaches of other environmental legislation.

“The council can ill afford the cost of clearing fly tipped rubbish at a time when we are looking for savings of around £23 million over the next two years.”

796 cases were classed as other household waste, while 16 of the cases involved white good and another three were other electrical goods.

The data also shows that in 2014/15, St Helens Council sent 3,843 warning letters, issued 71 fixed penalty notices but no one was prosecuted for fly-tipping in the borough.

The council investigated all 1,485 cases of fly-tipping cases costing £49,005.

The number of fly tipping incidents has risen since 2013/14 from 1,215 as has the cost from £63,984.