More than £57,000 has been spent clearing up illegal fly-tipping by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in the past year – while only £350 was recouped through fines.
The environmental team scooped up 54 tonnes of rubbish, including washing machines, builders’ rubble and a total of 70 lorry tyres. This was lower than five years ago when it was 84 tonnes.
Department for Environment figures covering 2014-2015 showed there were 1,226 incidents of fly-tipping in Tunbridge Wells.
Gary Stevenson, Head of Environment for the borough council said setting fines was not in its remit, as this was a matter handled by the magistrates’ courts.
He said: “The council tackles fly-tipping in order to protect and preserve the quality of the local environment. We tackle the problem in a number of ways, including surveillance of hot spots, issuing Fixed Penalty Notices and carrying out regular operations, sometimes alongside Kent Police, which allow us to seize vehicles that may be illegally carrying waste.
“Investigations are pursued wherever evidence or intelligence is available that might give us some leads but the reality of a lot of fly-tipping is that those responsible are very aware of what they are doing and how to avoid detection.
“Since September we have seized seven vehicles where the appropriate waste licences were not held and we believe this will have prevented some fly-tips from happening.”