ENVIRONMENT bosses have been left “astonished” by the amount of flytipping in Tendring in the past 18 months.

Tendring Council has received 2,139 reports of flytipping, ranging from bin bags dumped in an alley to builders’ rubble and piles of asbestos.

The council has been criticised for a delay in action to clear up an “unofficial tip” which has built up over months on privately-owned land in Brookland Gardens, Jaywick.

But Michael Talbot, councillor responsible for environment, said action will always be taken when waste is dumped on public land.

He said: “The council always responds promptly to reports of flytipping, both to check for evidence and to get its contractors on site to clear away the waste.

“However, the figures are astonishing and I would strongly encourage residents to make sure they take responsibility for their own waste, such as by making sure anyone they pay to remove it is a licensed waste carrier.

“Tendring Council will not hesitate to take action against flytippers or those who pay them to remove their waste, where appropriate.”

The council said in each case of waste being dumped on public land, officers swiftly attend and sift through the waste in a bid to identify the culprits, before the rubbish is cleared away by a contractor once investigations are finished.

It added prosecutions are being considered in some cases.

A spokesman for the council said most cases of flytipping on public land are assessed by a council officer within 24 hours.

It is often the case a homeowner has paid someone to clear the rubbish and is unaware that it has been dumped illegally.

However, it is the householder’s responsibility to ensure waste is taken away by a registered person, and they can still be held responsible.

Last year the authority warned it could spy on flytipping hotspots, including using motion-activated cameras, to clampdown on an increase in illegal dumping in Tendring.

Town Hall bosses blamed their County Hall counterparts for some of the increase after Essex County Council introduced tough new rules in October 2016 to ban vans and multi-axle vehicles from entering 12 recycling centres across the county.

The plans were intended to stop the dumping of trade waste at recycling centres, but residents have claimed the rules are preventing them from getting rid of their own DIY or construction waste.