A call has gone out from landowners for the Government to find new ways to crackdown on fly-tipping following the release of worrying figures for Horsham, Crawley and Mid Sussex.
Members of CLA South east - which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses in Sussex - say the illegal dumping of rubbish is a growing menace across the county.
Figures show that in 2016/7 Crawley had 1,315 reported incidents of fly-tipping; Horsham had 737 and Mid Sussex had 324.
Brighton and Hove experienced the highest number of reported incidents with 2.520 cases and Hastings had the second highest with 2,306.
There were 988 cases of dumped rubbish reported in Chichester with 473 incidents in Eastbourne; 491 in Rother; 457 in Wealden; 361 in Adur and 147 in Lewes.
However, the CLA believes the overall total is considerably higher as they say that many incidents go unreported.
CLA south east regional director Robin Edwards said: “Fly-tipping is not a victimless crime. The Government, local authorities and the Environment Agency must work together with farmers and landowners to help reduce fly-tipping on private rural land.
“It’s a vicious cycle of costly clean-ups by the victims who bear the burden of waste crime and the threat of prosecution.
“It is easy to blame householders for the significant rise in fly-tipping but we’re seeing more and more waste on an industrial scale dumped across the countryside.
“Part of the problem is council fees putting people off lawful disposal at the local tip but it is also businesses not complying with existing waste disposal regulations. The costs and process of getting a waste transfer licence prevents legal disposal and encourages organised crime.
“It is vital that more prosecutions are brought forward successfully to encourage people to do the right thing and dispose of their rubbish through proper legal channels.
“But to really combat this anti-social behaviour we need to see tougher penalties which act as a true deterrent. Imposing and enforcing penalties which better reflect the seriousness of the crime, such as seizing vehicles used to fly-tip, is crucial.”