CLEARING up after illegal fly-tipping in York and punishing offenders cost taxpayers £118,000 last year.

New figures released by the Countryside Alliance have shown council chiefs were left to pick up the six-figure bill for unlawful rubbish-dumping in the city, with 932 incidents being reported during 2010/11.

City of York Council carried out enforcement action, which can include handing out fines and litter abatement notices as well as taking offenders to court, 1,766 times, although only one person was successfully prosecuted during the year. Another 250 offenders were ordered to pay fines.

The estimated cost of clearing and disposing of unlawfully dumped items was £52,345 and the cost of enforcement procedures ran to £65,770, according to statistics released to the Countryside Alliance under the Freedom of Information Act.

Ryedale saw 123 fly-tipping reports, with clearance and disposal costing £3,267 and no enforcement action or prosecutions recorded, while there were 204 reported incidents, 100 fines issued and a £13,883 clean-up and enforcement bill in Hambleton.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council was awarded court costs of £8,109.11 following prosecutions and 12 people were fined, with 856 incidents costing £58,677 in clearance and disposal charges and 797 enforcement actions costing £42,891.

City of York Council said that, in April and May this year – a period not covered by the Countryside Alliance’s findings – fly-tippers were slapped with fines totalling £1,750 and more than £2,000 in costs were awarded to the authority.

Liz Levett, the council’s head of environmental enforcement, said: “Fly-tipping is not tolerated in York and the council will take appropriate enforcement action, which could ultimately lead to some people ending up in court.

“There were 932 incidents reported in 2010/11, but there is a degree of duplicate reporting as different people can report the same incident more than once. All this information helps local authorities deal with incidents on a like-for-like basis, which attempts to tackle recurring trends, but it’s misleading and over-simplistic to look at one year’s figures in isolation.

“The council is not complacent and there are now even more and easier ways for people to report incidents, allowing the council to continue working with local communities to tackle fly-tipping so we can all love where we live.”

Residents have a legal obligation to check anybody they give goods to for disposal has a license and will take them to a licensed site, and should get a receipt. For information and advice, phone the council’s street environment team on 01904 551551.

York Press: The Press - Comment

Fly-tipping disgrace

FLY-TIPPING is nothing new but, with council resources so stretched, it is disgraceful that nearly £120,000 had to be spent last year to clear up the mess and chase offenders in this region.

We think this blight should be tackled hard. A paltry £250 fine is meted out to most who are prosecuted, but surely a far better punishment would be to send them out on the streets and clear up their own rubbish.

That might make them think twice.

York Press: What do you think? - Click to comment