There has been a ‘noticeable increase’ in fly tipping since East Sussex rubbish tips began charging for some non-household waste last year, according to new figures.
On Friday (April 26), representatives of Eastbourne, Hastings, Rother and Wealden councils met to discuss the running of the East Sussex Joint Waste Partnership.
During the meeting, partnership manager Madeleine Gorman reported that their records had shown ‘a noticeable increase’ in fly tipping numbers since East Sussex County Council introduced charges for some forms of non-household waste at its sites last autumn.
However, the county council says more information is needed to draw a definitive link between the two.
Ms Gorman said: “We have been tracking the effects and there is a noticeable increase in numbers of fly tipping, particularly coming through in the Hastings, Wealden and Rother areas.
“I thought I would just mention that today. I think it is a situation we need to continue to monitor over the next few months.”
The topic was discussed again during the meeting of the joint waste and recycling committee on the same day.
The committee is formed of the same councils with the exception of Eastbourne Borough Council, which will not remain part of the group when the partnership contract is taken over by Biffa in July.
During the meeting, committee chairman Cllr Tony Ganly asked Julian Foster, from the county council’s waste services, about the disposal of commercial building materials such as plasterboard.
Mr Foster, however, stressed that the tips were intended for residents’ own waste, not commercial waste.
The charges see visitors to the county council’s household waste recycling sites pay to dispose of rubble, soil, plasterboard, asbestos and tyres.
Cllr Ganly said: “The reason I bring up commercial waste is that there does seem to be, anecdotally speaking, an increase in fly tipping of building material since you have changed the rules at the bring sites.
“Do you agree that is the case?”
Mr Foster said: “We are gathering information. It is very difficult for us to be able to say yes or no because there is insufficient monitoring.
“Realistically it would be about 12 months for us to start to build up a picture and start to have a conversation about that.
“I do see what you are saying anecdotally, but I think we do a bit more time to consider the picture.”