Revealed: The cost to taxpayers of fly-tipping in Sidmouth, Ottery St Mary and East Devon


Fly-tipping. - Credit: Archant

Fly-tippers in Sidmouth have cost taxpayers a wallet-busting £6,160 in the last three years, the Herald can reveal.

Figures attained through a Freedom of Information request show that East Devon District Council (EDDC) has been forced to fork out an estimated £41,552 clearing up dumped waste across its patch.

In Sidmouth, 110 reported cases of fly-tipping were dealt with by council workers between 2015 and 2017. Last year, 44 reports of fly-tipping in Sidmouth were made to the council – compared to 21 in 2016. In 2015, 45 incidents were reported – the highest total in the last three years.

The figures place Sidmouth fourth in the overall standings of towns hit hardest by fly-tippers.

Exmouth took the lion’s share between 2015 and 2017 – with 223 reported cases. It has cost an estimated £12,488 of taxpayer cash so EDDC can deal with the incidents.

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Honiton was the second highest, with 134 cases reported – costing an estimated £7,504 to clean up.

Axminster had 113 incidents reported, with the council spending an estimated £6,328 there to deal with the waste.

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The figures reveal that, on average, fly-tippers are costing taxpayers around £13,500 per year.

In Ottery St Mary, there were 83 reported cases of fly-tipping between 2015 and 2017. EDDC spent an estimated £4,648 clearing up the waste.

A council spokeswoman said the costs provided to the Herald were based on estimated figures used on Waste Data Flow – the national system that councils use to record fly-tip data.

She added: “In reality this figure is lower than the actual cost to EDDC as it is designed more for urban councils than rural ones.

“It is not possible to get an accurate cost to EDDC due to the huge diversity in size and type of fly-tip, so the costs stated are estimates only.”

Sidmouth Town Council chairman Ian McKenzie-Edwards said: “I personally am not aware of a serious fly-tipping problem within the Sid Valley.

“I can accept that it occurs in the more remote reaches of East Devon. Are we not blessed with a state-of-the-art recycling centre? This should provide no excuse whatsoever for fly-tipping!”

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