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New laws set to make fly tippers pay

New laws have been announced allowing local authorities and the Environment Agency to recover the £1 million a week that fly tipping costs them.

In an update to the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, offenders will pay clean-up costs, while landowners and occupiers affected can also claim.

Environment Agency chief executive Barbara Young said: "With the help of these new powers we will be able to work more closely than ever with the local authorities and really take the fight to these waste cheats. The message is clear: if you fly-tip, we are coming after you."

New figures from the National database, Flycapture shows that £44 million of council taxpayers money was spent on clearing fly-tipped rubbish last year. But with unrecorded cases, some estimates suggest it could be well over £100 million.

The figures also show a spiralling problem of rubbish being dumped in towns, with some authorities having to collect up to 250,000 black bags outside their scheduled collections.

The secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs Margaret Beckett said: "Thousands of tonnes worth of rubbish are left in the streets every year, leaving many urban areas looking dirty and neglected. If we want to improve the local environment in these areas, this irresponsible behaviour cannot continue."

The update will also allow local authorities to move abandoned cars from the streets immediately. The need for a 24-hour notice period has been removed, helping to reduce the risk of arson.

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