North Devon is blighted by an average of two incidents of fly-tipping each day according to Government figures.

Fly-tipping in Chulmleigh this month. Picture: NDCFly-tipping in Chulmleigh this month. Picture: NDC

Data released by Defra shows there were 814 recorded incidents in the 12 months to March – an increase of 15 per cent from five years ago.

Clearing up the rubbish and taking action is estimated to have cost North Devon Council (NDC) more than £65,000, with just over £4,500 reclaimed through fines.

The council has been taking more and more steps in an attempt to clamp down on fly-tipping.

New fixed penalty notice fines came into effect on September 1, with a maximum fine of £400 for fly-tipping.

Earlier this month the council issued its first of those notices for an offence in Chulmleigh where waste was dumped at the roadside.

NDC’s executive member for environment, Councillor Rodney Cann, said: “Fly-tipping is a criminal offence which costs us a lot of money each year to clear up.

“We are stepping up in our fight against fly-tipping, having recently introduced new powers to make it easier for us to punish small scale fly-tipping offenders.

“Our environmental wardens are very effective and their investigative work is proving to be very successful in tracking down those responsible. Don’t think your fly-tipping will go unnoticed, it is harmful to wildlife and a blight on our beautiful district.”

Tipping incidents in North Devon most commonly involved volumes of waste that were the equivalent of a small van load.

The most common type of waste dumped in North Devon was household waste, which accounted for 343 incidents, followed by black bags of household rubbish and construction or DIY waste.

The majority of fly-tipping sites – 66 per cent of them – were on roads.

The council is urging people who come across fly-tipping to report it online, as well as following its social media channels to help share information.

It is also asking the public to be aware of rogue waste carriers, asking to see their waste carrier registration and getting a receipt listing for where rubbish is being taken.

Cllr Cann added: “What many people don’t realise is they are responsible for making sure their rubbish is disposed of properly.

“If your waste is found fly-tipped and we can trace it back to you, you could be the one facing a fine.”

You can report fly-tipping at northdevon.gov.uk/flytipping