Published: 00:01, 13 January 2018
| Updated: 02:56, 01 March 2018
Medway had the highest number of reported fly-tipping incidents in Kent last year.
Figures released by the department for the environment, food and rural affairs revealed Medway is the third worst area in the south east with 3,637 cases reported last year, costing the council £252,327 between April 2016 and March 2017.
This was an increase of 78 from the year before.
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Thanet were second in the county having spent £236,301 on 1,776 cases followed by Gravesham with £141,204.00.
Tonbridge and Malling spent just £31,158 on 648 cases.
In total, £1,308,284 was spent on cleaning up 19,938 incidents of fly-tipping across Kent.
The worst hit area in the south east was Southampton, with 10,046 incidents, followed by Milton Keynes, with 4,120 incidents.
Every January there is a surge in fly-tipping as people get rid of their festive waste including old Christmas trees.
Last year, Medway council prosecuted 56 fly-tipping, littering and waste related cases at Medway Magistrates Court.
Cllr Jane Chitty, responsible for enforcement, said: “Fly-tipping is unacceptable.
“We clear incidents as quickly as we can and in 2016/17 more than 1,200 flytips were removed within one working day of being reported.
“We will prosecute anyone found to be dumping waste in Medway and are working closely with the police to gather intelligence on, disrupt and prosecute those involved in fly-tipping.
“Residents are encouraged to contact us to report fly-tipping incidents to the council so we can arrange to get the waste cleared as quickly as possible.”
The figures only account for fly-tipping on council land, not private and farmer are often left to deal cost and clearing of rubbish themselves.
Amanda Corp, from the national farmer’s union, said: “Medway is quite high because it is a urban area with a high population and is near the borders with other counties.
"Thurrock is particularly bad for fly-tipping but it is rising nationally.
“The problem for farmers is people flytip on their land it is their responsibility to clear it away and that costs them thousands of pounds and lots of time. It can also pose a risk to their health.
“Magistrates need to use all the power they can, prosecute and flytip more heavily so people think twice before doing it.
“Local authorities are joining together and working hard to stop this. Nobody likes it, it’s not nice and it is a danger to our health and wildlife.”
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