Fly-tipping incidents soar in Mid Sussex
Fly-tipping in Mid Sussex has soared over the past year, according to new Government figures.
And the increase has sparked warnings from agricultural experts over the hidden financial and emotional cost of the menace to farmers.
According to Defra, figures just out show that there were 5,141 incidents of fly-tipping in the Mid Sussex area in 2018/19 compared with just 198 the previous year.
However, Mid Sussex District Council says the actual figure for Mid Sussex in 2018/19 is 287.
Throughout the south east, a total of 83,752 fly-tipping incidents were reported in the last 12 months.
Toby Baker, of Farmers and Mercantile Insurance Brokers warned the figure does not reflect the full scale of the problem for the region’s farmers, as most cases on private land go unreported – with victims left to foot the clean-up bill. “Fly-tipping is a scourge on the farming community and their plight is not reflected in these figures as they exclude the majority of private-land incidents,” he said.
“Councils spend millions every year on clean-up costs but private landowners, such as farmers, are suffering in silence with little or no assistance or recourse.
“The burden of dumped rubbish falling squarely with farmers as they are liable for clearing it up at their own expense, or face prosecution. Moving the mess on to public land will not solve the issue, but exacerbate it, which farmers need to be mindful of.”
He said the average financial cost of fly-tipping for victims was more than £1,000 a time.
Mid Sussex District Council says it tries to remove fly-tipping from public land within three working days of it being reported.
A spokesman said: “Mid Sussex District Council is responsible for removing fly tips on the public highway. If you see a fly tip, report it to us online or by telephone and we will remove it as soon as possible.
“Private landowners are responsible for removing fly tips from their own land. If you see someone fly tipping don’t try to stop them. Any information on those responsible for the fly tip should only be collected if it is completely safe to do so.”