‘Don’t fly tip’, urges council

‘DON’T fly tip’ is the message from district waste management bosses.

East Devon District Council has reported a sharp increase in fly tipping, or the illegal dumping of waste, in the past couple of months. The dumping ranges from garden waste and household rubbish to asbestos sheeting and the council handles about 400 cases a year. Fly tippers tend to use rural areas, such as Trow Hill, near Sidmouth.

Andrew Hancock, the council’s manager for street scene, said there was always an increase during the summer months. “When the nice weather comes people think it’s a good idea to clear their gardens,” he said.

REACT (Respond, Enforce and Clean Team) tackles environmental crimes, such as fly tipping, littering and graffiti. Mr Hancock said: “Before we had React, we did deal with fly tipping, but now the team can respond directly. The average response time is two days.”

Penalties range from an �80 fixed penalty notice to a �500,000 fine and/or two years in prison. So far the council has brought no prosecutions. Mr Hancock said: “We try to work with people before it gets to that stage.”

He estimated that the council could save �70,000-�80,000 a year if fly tipping stopped tomorrow. Anyone seeking to get rid of bulky waste should check that the company they use has a waste transfer agreement. “People need to think about where their waste is going,” said Mr Hancock. For more information call 01395 517528 or visit www.eastdevon.gov.uk.