Government statistics show nearly 1,000 fly-tips in St Albans last year
- Credit: Archant
The number of fly-tips in St Albans has skyrocketed to almost 1,000 incidents last year, government statistics show.
According to the most recent figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), waste was illegally dumped 910 times in the district throughout 2017 to 2018.
Of those, it is reported that 847 were on the Herts county council (HCC) highway and 54 were on St Albans district council (SADC) sites.
In these cases, the taxpayer must foot the clean up bill.
More than 100 of the incidents contained white goods, 16 included the carcinogenic material asbestos, and nearly 30 were large enough to fill a tipper lorry.
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These figures follow a upward trend in fly-tipping incidents over the last decade, for example St Albans saw 611 fly-tips in 2010, 647 in 2011, 638 in 2012, 713 in 2013, and then 1,114 in 2014.
However, these statistics do not represent the entirety of the fly-tipping problem, as DEFRA excludes the majority of private-land incidents when the landowner must pay to remove the rubbish.
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Each time a pile of fly-tipping is reported in the Herts Ad, there is an outcry from the community - for example when a variety of construction materials was strewn near Heartwood Forest, and most recently fridge-freezers were left on the grass verge outside a Sandridge Primary School on Woodcock Hill.
Head of community services at SADC, Joe Tavernier, said the council investigate fly-tips: “There are a number of local hotspots where fly-tips are often reported. We monitor these using overt cameras, and we work closely with the police to help them identify where to locate automatic number plate recognition cameras.”
He said they have issued three fines and successfully prosecuted two people in the last quarter.
“The council takes fly-tipping very seriously and we will prosecute if we can,” he added.
According to a British agricultural insurance company, Farmers and Mercantile Insurance Brokers (FMIB), the average cost of a fly-tipping clean-up for farmers is £1,000.
Anyone who spots fly-tipping taking place should contact police on 999. Anything discovered after the event should be reported to SADC on 01727 809019 or at firstname.lastname@example.org