MEASURES to combat fly-tipping, including installing covert cameras, have been unveiled in a rural district where the clean-up costs have soared.

The move follows Hambleton District Council’s scrutiny committee finding its policy to tackle the illegal dumping of waste “not fit for purpose” as the authority’s clear-up bill rose to £44,000 last year, compared to £23,000 the year before.

While officers had previously highlighted a direct correlation between the rising cost and the start of charges for items such as tyres at North Yorkshire County Council-run household waste and recycling centres, a meeting of the committee was told higher tyre disposal costs for traders was exacerbating the issue.

The meeting heard actions being taken by the council included the purchase of more covert CCTV equipment, improved communications with parish councils and a high-profile promotional campaign to encourage the reporting of fly-tipping.

In addition, council staff would patrol fly-tipping hotspots, dash cameras would be fitted to its small vehicle fleet to aid evidence gathering and links were being forged with trading standards officers as rogue traders were often responsible for dumped waste.

Meanwhile, as part of the drive to obtain details around which prosecutions can be built, Hambleton officers are working with the county council to develop an interactive system for online and mobile reporting of fly-tipping.

Paul Staines, the authority’s director of leisure and environmental services, told the meeting changes had been made to the council’s website to make it easier to report the problem.

He said: “We recognised that reporting through the website in particular has been difficult for people. It wasn’t even obvious where you would go to report it. You can now go straight to it from the home page.”

The meeting was also told the council would make it clear anonymous reports could be filed through its website for anyone who may be reluctant to get involved in a prosecution.

Mr Staines said finding evidence to prove someone was responsible for fly-tipping remained “very difficult”.

Councillor David Hugill suggested roadside CCTV cameras could be used following fly-tipping incidents and questioned whether the scrap industry could be offered rewards for reporting people who legally disposed of high volumes of wheel rims.

He said: “I’d like to know where they dispose of these tyres.

“It is a trade, the wheel rims go one way and the tyres go another way.”

Councillors recommended the revised flytipping enforcement options for approval by the authority’s Cabinet in November.