FLY tipping across the county has cost the tax payer tens of thousands of pounds in the last year.

And it is expected to get worse today after waste experts dubbed it ‘fly tipping Friday’ as residents attempt to get rid of their unwanted junk that has accumulated over the festive season.

Councillors across Oxfordshire are urging residents to legally dispose of their waste in the war against fly tipping.

Leader of Oxford City Council Bob Price said: “For us the best way to tackle fly tipping is prevention rather than cure.

“And I think by providing facilities for people and industrial companies to get rid of their waste - that is the best way to tackle the problem.”

In May councils across the country were given powers to give fixed penalty notices to fly tipping perpetrators, which could cost up to £200.

But only two of Oxford’s district councils, West Oxfordshire and South Oxfordshire have exercised that power with just three notices being handed out in total.

Mr Price said that the problem with fixed penalty notices was that they had to be given while the person was caught in the act.

He said: “Before the powers were introduced we would fine people and go through the courts who had been fly tipping.

“For that you can gather evidence, speak to witnesses and go through the courts.

“But you have to actually catch the person fly tipping before you issue a fixed penalty notice, which is obviously a lot harder to do without having someone stationed around different points in the city waiting for it to happen.”

The city council dealt with 1,849 fly tipping offences last year, which cost tax payers between £40 and £450 per removal.

Since 2004 the city council has implemented a bulky waste service, where five times a year it will come free of charge to residents’ homes to collect waste.

In 2014/15 West Oxfordshire District Council dealt with 532 incidents at a cost of £25,170, an increase of 34 incidents compared to the year before.

South Oxfordshire District Council environment chief Tony Harbour said the fixed penalty notices were used alongside existing powers as an additional deterrent against fly tipping.

Out of 412 incidents last year, South Oxfordshire successfully won 11 cases against dumpers at Oxford Magistrates Court with fines totalling £10,408.

He added: “Fly-tipping is really not worth it, you will get caught, and you will end up paying the price.

“We live in a beautiful area of the country and we do not want it being blighted by selfish and reckless individuals.”

Vale of White Horse District Council went to 255 fly tipping incidents in 2016 and in the current financial year since April 1 has won nine cases at court with fines totalling £6,862.

Cherwell District Council made nine prosecutions last year after they were sent to 558 fly tip incidents in 2016 and it has now brought in on-the-spot fines of up to £250 for small fly tips.

Statistics for last year showed fewer than two per cent of fly-tippers in Cherwell in the past year have been fined.

To ensure waste is disposed of legally residents should visit the Environment Agency’s website to find registered waste carriers and ensure a written receipt confirms what has been taken away.

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