Fly-tipping in Honiton, Axminster and Seaton cost taxpayers more than £17,000

PUBLISHED: 11:30 15 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:57 24 January 2018

Fly-tipping.

Fly-tipping.

Archant

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has been forced to fork out an estimated £41,552 clearing up dumped waste across East Devon between 2015 and 2017.

Fly-tipping in Honiton, Axminster and Seaton has left taxpayers with an estimated bill of more than £17,000 since 2015, the Herald can reveal.

Figures attained through a Freedom of Information show reveal that East Devon District Council (EDDC) has been forced to fork out an estimated £41,552 clearing up dumped waste across East Devon between 2015 and 2017.

Honiton is second-highest in the standings of towns hit hardest by fly-tipping – taxpayers have been hit with an estimated bill of £7,504 for the waste to be cleared.

The statistics for Honiton throughout the last three years have fluctuated.

In 2015, 47 cases were reported – encouragingly, the figures dropped by more than 30 per cent to 32 cases in 2016.

However, they surged to 55 reported cases for 2017.

Axminster is third-highest in the standings, with the council clearing up 113 reported cases at an estimated cost of £6,328.

In 2015, 34 fly-tipping reports were made to EDDC - the same total was recorded in 2016.

This jumped to 45 reported cases in 2017.

Between 2015 and 2017, 59 reported fly-tipping cases in Seaton were cleaned up by EDDC, costing £3,304.

Exmouth took the lion’s share of fly-tipping incidents between 2015 and 2017 – 223 were reported in total. Work to clear up the dumped waste left taxpayers with an estimated £12,488 bill.

However, statistics show that 35 less fly-tipping reports in Exmouth were made in 2017 compared to 2015.

The figures reveal that on average, fly-tipping incidents are costing taxpayers roughly £13,500 per year.

However, a spokeswoman for East Devon District Council 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 below costs are estimates only.”

Honiton town council chairman John Zarczynski said: “This problem will only get worse as long as we have tipping charges.

“We should be looking at ways of disposing waste and encouraging people to get in touch with their local authority instead of paying some backstreet van man to take it away and dump it elsewhere.”

Fly-tipping in East Devon towns between 2015 and 2017 - the standings

• Exmouth: 223 reported cases, estimated £12,488 to clear up

• Honiton: 134 reported cases, estimated £7,504 to clear up

• Axminster: 113 reported cases, estimated £6,328 to clear up

• Sidmouth: 110 reported cases, estimated £6,160 to clear up

• Ottery St Mary: 83 reported cases, estimated £4,648 to clear up

• Seaton: 59 recorded cases, estimated £3,304 to clear up

• Budleigh Salterton: 20 recorded cases, estimated £1,120 to clear up

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