Fly-tipping has not risen since Northumberland tips were closed - residents praised by council chiefs and urged to store waste

Fly-tipping in Northumberland has not increased since the tips were closed, the council has said, with residents being praised for their patience.

By Ben O'Connell
Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 11:27 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 1:17 pm

All of the household waste recovery centres (HWRCs) in the county have been closed since Tuesday, March 24, while the local authority has also suspended all bulky household waste collections.

Bin collections are continuing as normal, however, including garden waste – although new customers are not able to apply for a garden waste bin at this time.

A council spokesman said: “We haven’t noticed any particular increase in fly-tipping since the household waste recycling centres were closed, but we are continuing to monitor hotspot areas and respond to any calls we get.

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Northumberland County Council's HQ in Morpeth.

“We do appreciate residents’ support in keeping the waste they would normally take to the tip at home during this current closure period.”

People are being asked to avoid activities that would generate additional waste such as DIY projects and spring cleaning, to reduce pressure on waste services, and to try to recycle what they can while crushing cartons and boxes down to make room for more.

Coun Glen Sanderson, the cabinet member for the environment and local services, said: “We do understand how frustrating this is for residents, and I want to thank everyone for their understanding at this difficult time.

“Our core household waste collection services are still operating as normal to take away general rubbish, recycling and garden waste and we’ve been overwhelmed with all the support people have given our refuse teams.

“We just ask people to continue to bear with us – recycling as much as they can, to avoid generating additional waste through DIY and other tidy-up activities, and to store any unwanted bulky items safely until we can resume our full range of waste services again.”

The CLA, which represents owners of land, property and businesses in rural areas, is encouraging both landowners and farmers, along with the public, to report any fly-tipping incidents to their local authorities.

Its director north, Dorothy Fairburn, said: “It is shocking to hear reports of fly-tipping incidents especially at this time of lock-down. The closure of tips is understandable, but can’t be used as an excuse to dump rubbish in our countryside.

“Local authorities don’t usually get involved with clearing incidences of fly-tipped waste from private land, leaving the landowner cleaning up and footing the bill, and, if not, they risk prosecution for illegal storage of waste. This is simply not right or fair.”

However, Coun David Renard, environment spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents councils, said: “Most council-run general waste and recycling kerbside collection services are operating as normal. This is testament to the hard work of councils as they try to keep waste and recycling services working as effectively as possible and to ensure the safety of the workforce delivering this key public service.

“Fly-tipping is never acceptable and we urge people and businesses not to burn garden waste – composting or recycling it where possible is better for the environment. Burning household waste is an offence and liable to prosecution.”

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