FIGURES showing a huge fall in fly-tipping were partly due to a shift in criteria of how they were collected, Sheffield Council has admitted.
Last month, statistics were released by Sheffield Council showing that while illegal dumping had fallen slightly over the last couple of years, from 53,794 incidents in 2010/11 to 50,041 in 2011/12.
But workers were called out just 5,757 times to fly-tipping in the first three months of 2012/13 - resulting in around 23,000 incidents if the trend continued over the year.
Coun Jack Scott, Sheffield Council cabinet member responsible for environment, said the fall had coincided with the authority taking a tougher line on the problem. But he has now revealed the decrease is partly due to a change in how Sheffield Homes records figures for dumping on estates.
He said: “There has been a shift from recording each item to classifying as single cases incidents where several items have been left.
Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Sheffield Council’s opposition Lib Dem leader, said: “The council fiddled the fly-tipping figures to serve their own ends.”