'No excuses for fly tipping in Sunderland' as near million-pound cost to taxpayers is revealed

Council bosses insist “there are no excuses for fly-tipping in Sunderland” after the near million-pound cost of cleaning up after offenders was revealed.

Thursday, 13th February 2020, 10:48 am
Updated Thursday, 13th February 2020, 8:05 pm

Figures collated on behalf of the Sunderland Echo show that Sunderland City Council has spent nearly £1m tackling the problem in less than a decade.

The cost of tackling major incidents, defined as involving tipper lorries to clear up messes, increased from £134,840 in 2011-12 to £178,920 at the end of the last financial year and reached £930,010 in total.

According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) statistics, the number of such reports over the same period rose by just under a third from 381 to 504 and to 3,162 overall.

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Fly-tipped waste in Foxcover Lane, Herrington, Sunderland, in February 2020.

The council, which backs the Echo’s Clean Streets campaign to keep the city tidy, has promised more legal action against offenders.

Cabinet member for environment and transport, Coun Amy Wilson, said: “Most people in Sunderland dispose of their waste and litter appropriately.

“Sadly, there are a minority who blight our city with their waste.

“Fly-tipping can also be a source of pollution, a danger to public health and to wildlife.

The Echo's Clean Streets campaign logo.

“The council has stepped up its enforcement against fly-tippers and litter louts with extra powers, more staffing and resources, and more legal action.

We have recently crushed a fly-tipper's van and more cases are pending.

“Earlier this week, we were joined by the police and other agencies for a series of spot-checks on vehicles carrying scrap and waste.”

These checks were in response to lead thefts in Hendon and Houghton as well as continued fly-tipping across the city.

The council also plans to reduce the cost of collecting bulky items from April.

Coun Wilson added: “As part of our next budget, we have set out how the cost of bulky item collections for residents is being reduced from £22.50 for six items to £10.

“The council’s bulky waste service means there's no 'white van man' risk of a waste carrier who just advertises online, has no licensed credentials and who then goes fly-tipping.

“There are no excuses for fly-tipping in Sunderland.”

Fly-tipping can be reported online to www.sunderland.gov.uk/article/12259/Fly-tipping