REVEALED: Sheffield Council had to clear a whopping 64, 000 fly-tipping sites in five years

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Sheffield Council had to clear up more than 64, 000 fly-tipping sites in the last five years - at a whopping cost of over £3 million.

Figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act showed the authority had to clear up 64, 437 incidents of illegally dumped litter between April 2013 and March 2018. This cost the authority more than £3.1 million.

Litter at the site.

Litter at the site.

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The figures come after we revealed how tonnes of litter - including needles, furniture, suit cases, TVs and fridges - had been illegally dumped in recent weeks at Chatham Street Car Park, just a five minute walk from the popular Kelham Island suburb. Action has now been taken to clear the site.

Sheffield Council has now warned those caught fly-tipping will face the full force of the law - which could mean a maximum fine of £50, 000 and up to five years in prison.

A spokesperson for the authority said: "We will take firm action against those who spoil our city for the vast majority of people who recycle their waste appropriately.”

After the clear up.

After the clear up.

In recent years fixed penalty notices of up to £400 for fly-tipping offences have been introduced by the Government to save councils time and money pursuing court action for low-level offences.

In the last five years the council has prosecuted 74 people for waste offences, including 41 for fly-tipping.

Last year the authority introduced a charge of £20 for people to replace their black and green bins.

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A decision was also made last year for recyclables to be collected on a monthly basis, while waste bins will continue to be emptied fortnightly.

Earlier this month the council was also forced to deny rumours that it is considering introducing monthly black bin collections.

The authority denied that introducing charges to replace bins has led to an increase in fly-tipping and the figures appear to back this up.

The year April 2013 to 14 had the highest number of incidents with more than 18, 000. By last year this had dropped to 12, 616.

A council spokesperson said: "There can be many different reasons why people decide to undertake this criminal activity.

"At this time we have no evidence that links this to the charging for waste containers.

"As with all fly-tipping though the councils first steps would be to work to reduce the ability of people to fly-tip as well as pursuing those responsible to the full extent of the law.”

Total Car Parks, which charges people £2.80 a day to park at Chatham Street Car Park, said they have contracted the council to clean up the car park this week.

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A spokesperson accepted the dumped litter had caused "misery to our customers" and explained that they have been in discussion with a security firm to take action to help deter litter dumping at the site.

She added: "We very much appreciate the support our customers have given us, and we now hope that the measures we have put in place, will stop this illegal and disgusting practice."