Milton Keynes Council has the biggest bill for dealing with flytipping of any of the 67 authorities in the entire South East, Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs figures have revealed
An agricultural expert is warning of the ‘hidden cost’ of flytipping, after it was revealed that councils have spent more than £4.5m in total on cleaning up the South East just 12 months.
And a staggering £317,856 of that came from MK where council chiefs had the highest bill for flytipping clearance and the second highest number of incidents with 4,120 in the last 12 months alone, more than 11 a day.
The DEFRA figures only account for flytipping incidents on council land, not private land and the bill for MK was nearly £240,000 more than neighbouring Aylesbury Vale.
More than one million incidents of fly-tipping were dealt with by councils in England in 2016-17, costing taxpayers nationally £58m to clear up.
Every January, councils see a surge in flytipping, with rogue residents and traders dumping post-festive waste, including old Christmas trees.
On a regional level, there were 79,911 reported flytipping incidents in the South East between April 2016 and March 2017 – an increase of 15 per cent on last year.
The clean-up cost to taxpayers in the South East totalled £4,541,608.
Alan Sinclair, of farm insurance specialist Lycetts, warns that the figures, as high as they seem, are not a true reflection of the cost of flytipping across the South East because farmers who fall prey to this crime are having to shoulder the burden and meet the costs of clearing rubbish from their land themselves – at an average of £1,000 per incident.
They are also liable if the dumped rubbish damages the countryside.
Mr Sinclair said: “Farmers are well aware of this issue and are saddened by the visual impact it has on the countryside they maintain, as well as it being a nuisance and inconvenience when trying to get on with their normal, daily jobs.
“However, I don’t think that farmers are as aware that, should they fail to deal with incidences of flytipping on their land and it leads to environmental damage, they could be held liable under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
“With many authorities looking at introducing charges for bulky waste and organic waste collections and charging for dumping waste at council-run tips, there is a fear that flytipping incidents on farmland will increase.”