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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Help us crack down on fly-tippers, Carlisle residents urged

Sodden sofas, battered furniture and bags of rotting rubbish are just some of the items left littering alleyways and lay-bys across Carlisle.

Elsie Martlew photo
Elsie Martlew

Latest figures show 600 incidents of fly-tipping a year are now being reported in the city – prompting the council and communities to take action.

Those responsible are now being threatened with hefty fines as part of action to clean up the city’s estates. The latest figures, published by GMB, show fly-tipping is a problem across Cumbria.

Carlisle City Council deals with more than 600 incidents a year, while in Allerdale there are over 900 and in Copeland roughly 500. Eden is bottom of the list with just over 150 – though that is rising.

In Carlisle, the council recently launched a tough new stance against fly-tipping, dog fouling and graffiti.

The Labour administration that took control in May had pledged at the local elections to “clean up Carlisle”, promising to spend £310,000 over two years to deliver that goal.

It is warning that, in some cases, it will prosecute rather than let offenders off with a fixed penalty notice.

Fly-tipping hotspots exist across the city, including back lanes around London Road and Greystone Road.

Paul Thwaites, of Orchard Street, said: “We do see a lot of rubbish dumped in the alleys. It makes the whole place look untidy. We had the council round a couple of weeks ago giving out letters to say it was illegal. Hopefully they will do something about it.”

Jane Kerr, who lives nearby, added: “It definitely should be a priority. It just looks a mess. I take all my rubbish round to the tip in the car.”

But Lynn Smith, of Flower Street, believes the council could do more to stop the problem in the first place.

“It’s because they charge so much money to come and collect it,” she said. “You can’t put a couch or bed in the car, and if you borrow a van they won’t let you in the tip with it anyway.”

The GMB, which published figures for the whole region, said that not only does fly-tipping leave the streets looking a mess, it’s also bad for the environment – and costs the Environment Agency £100m to £150m a year to clean up.

Yet despite a total of 820,000 incidents in England and Wales last year, there were only 2,500 prosecutions.

Elsie Martlew, the Carlisle councillor responsible for environment and transport, said they will take action.

“We want to work in partnership with residents to crack down on fly-tipping. It’s one of our priority areas and we urge residents to contact us with any information which could help us find those who dump rubbish,” she added.

Have your say

What are the figures for special collections before and after the charge was introduced. I was told it was running at about 20 to 30 a day and then after the charge was introduced that is now 40 once a week !

Posted by Andy Hill on 10 August 2012 at 06:06

Jess, you're not quite right, any van can enter the Carlisle tip if it has a permit and the waste is private material, regardless of whether the can has a company name on it. But you still can't go more than once a month and have to detail exactly what you take in advance.

Compare this to the tip at Annan (Dumfriesshire council) who accept any material in any vehicle subject to an automated vehicle checking system to stop excessive use - I've used it 2 or 3 times in a week to take van loads of garden rubbish and not been questioned.

Posted by alan brown on 8 August 2012 at 21:49

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