Photo of a fly-tip in East Devon, with a pile of tyres
A fly-tip in East Devon

Newly-released fly-tipping figures have been challenged by East Devon District Council (EDDC) as giving a distorted view of the actual situation.

The authority has reassured residents that it investigates every single report of fly-tipping. StreetScene officers visit all tips on council controlled sites to check for evidence of those responsible and arrange rubbish removal.

Where evidence is found or if the tip is on private land, EDDC’s Environmental Health team will carry out an investigation and take enforcement action where possible.

In 2022/23 even though there were 399 reported fly-tips, there was enough evidence for it to be referred to EDDC’s Environmental Health team on 23 of these occasions – 10 of which were investigated further.

The year 2022/23 was the first year since 2018 that no enforcement action was taken for fly-tipping. EDDC has seen a significant reduction in the numbers of fly-tips which have justified further investigation. So far, in 2023/24, it has served two fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping offences.

The Government requirement for all councils to provide information for the ‘fly tipping league tables’ only provides a very small amount of information of how a local authority is managing public spaces for their areas.

In an article last year, The Country Land and Business Association said:

“Yet despite the overall decrease in incidences, these figures fail to reflect the full scale of the crime, as increasing reports of fly-tipping on private rural land are not included. Two-thirds of all farmers and landowners have at some stage been a victim. But hundreds of thousands of offences on private land are going unrecorded, as farmers often have so little faith in the ability of the police or council to deal with fly-tipping that they simply bear the cost of removing rubbish themselves."

The figures recently published shows that the fly-tipping in East Devon is declining but the council is aware that landowners and farmers are finding increasing amounts on their land.

Councillor Geoff Jung, EDDC’s portfolio holder for Coast, Country and Environment said:

“We have seen a big drop off in the number of fly-tips where evidence of responsibility is found, so we are looking at other ways to obtain this.

“These figures provided by Government gives a very distorted view of a council’s performance.

“I can reassure our communities that all fly-tips reported to the council are investigated and dealt with.  If they are on council-controlled land they will be removed and where sufficient evidence exists, enforcement action will be taken.

“I would urge any resident who witnesses fly-tipping to contact the council on the East Devon App so our officers can follow it up.”

“What is needed by Government is an overall strategy on dealing with illegal dumping of waste on both public and more importantly private land.”