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Havering Council spent almost £225,000 last year clearing more than 4,000 fly-tips

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 October 2017 | UPDATED: 08:06 25 October 2017

A fly-tip in Little Gerpins Lane, Upminster. Picture: Ricky Izod

A fly-tip in Little Gerpins Lane, Upminster. Picture: Ricky Izod

Ricky Izod Submitted

Havering Council spent more than £220,000 on clearing fly-tips across the borough in the last financial year, a new government report has revealed.

New figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), show the council was forced to spend £224,423 on clearance costs at 4,061 separate fly-tipping incidents in the 12 months from April 2016.

More than half of Havering’s fly-tips that year took place on public highways, and just over a quarter of incidents were rubbish being dumped directly on council-owned land.

Worringly, there were 17 episodes where criminals had illegally dumped asbestos – one of the highest for any London borough, and 10 incidents also involved the illicit disposal of clinical waste.

Fly-tipping has long been a blight on Havering, and the year before the council spent around £150,000 on clearing dumped debris.

Last month, the borough’s highways committee agreed to close one Upminster road that had become a hotbed of fly-tipping to vehicle traffic, but a second scheme was deferred when councillors raised fears that closing roads could become “draconian”.

And back in January, a council spokesman estimated the authority could even spend as much as £1million on cleaning fly-tips by the end of the calendar year, amid claims the borough was “essentially victim of organised crime”.

Cllr Osman Dervish, cabinet member for environment, confirmed that the fly-tipping does cost the local authority around £1m annually.

He said: “Havering Council urges all residents to support us in the fight against fly-tipping.

“Fly-tips in the borough range from single black sacks of household or commercial waste, mattresses, tyres and furniture, to organised dumps of mountains of demolition waste and rubble.

“The council continues to work with the police and other partners to tackle the problem with joint operations. We have also recently taken more drastic steps with proposals to close roads around fly-tipping hotspots in the borough.

“Our crackdown on fly-tippers means anyone caught dumping rubbish illegally could face a penalty notice, court summons or even prison.

“We remind everyone to continue to report any fly-tipping they see or know of and to dispose of their waste legally and responsibly.”

Report fly-tipping online at bit.ly/2i2FPR1.

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