ACTION needs to be taken at recycling centres which are overflowing during the Christmas period, a district council has been told.

Council recycling centres in Penrith are overflowing with rubbish again this year, empty beer boxes and Christmas gift packaging has been dumped on the ground when people have found the bins to be full.

It has been claimed that commercial waste is included in the piles of rubbish dumped at Eden District Council’s waste sites outside Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.

Penrith Town Councillor Jonathan Davies said: “I’ve been sent some pictures of the Sainsbury’s (site) which to the day is almost identical to a year ago – it’s ridiculous.”

He said that residents were trying to stuff rubbish into recycling bins that were already full.

“Eden Council has been asked time and time again to put CCTV systems in place,” he said.

Cllr Davies believed CCTV would “make people think twice” before fly-tipping their rubbish.

“All it needs is a little gust of wind and that gets blown right across the town. It gets into fields locally, cattle eat it and choke on it.”

The leader of the Putting Cumbria First Party said that more recycling sites would also help.

“If there were more, smaller ones that were monitored, I think it would have a lot more impact on stopping this.”

However, Cllr Davies said that the public should also be taking responsibility.

He said: “I don’t know what’s going through people’s minds when they see the bins are full on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Even I wouldn’t expect Eden Council to be out emptying them.”

Eden District Council’s Services Portfolio Holder Michael Tonkin said he had been lobbying for CCTV at the sites but council officers had previously been reluctant to introduce the measure as it was an intrusion into people's privacy.

But he added: "We’re coming around to the idea that it is a deterrent. If you get a prosecution from one it’s a massive deterrent.”