Council bosses have been accused of causing fly tipping by their own policies.
Rubbish dumped on Middleton Beach has been blamed on new charges brought in to dump waste at Hartlepool’s recycling and waste centre earlier this month.
Hartlepool Borough Council chiefs have defended the move and says it had to bring in the fees at the Burn Road site due to Government cuts and only for items over and beyond what can go into a household bin.
The rubbish - tyres, televisions and construction rubble - was left on Middleton Beach.
Independent Councillor Paul Thompson, who represents the Seaton ward, said: “I’ve never been contacted about flytipping in the seven years I’ve been a councillor until the last three weeks.
“We’ve had flytipping on Coronation Drive, at the North Gare car park, or old Blue Lagoon site, and down on the beach.
We live in this ward and we know it’s an issue for residents.Councillor Paul Thompson
“Myself and Councillor James Black met with the assistant director of the council met last week to talk about car parking and we raised the issue of flytipping.
“He was surprised I made the correlation between it and the increase in charges.
“We live in this ward and we know it’s an issue for residents.
“Before the new charges came in, if you looked at the Facebook comments, everybody was saying this will lead to an increase in flytipping. Some people were saying I’ll just go and dump my rubbish on the beach.
“Now look at it.”
He added: “Most people know that if they start charging to use the tip, then there’s going to be flytipping.”
A council spokesman said: “The introduction of charges at the Household Waste Recycling Centre for disposing of certain types of waste reflects the significant on-going cuts in Government grant faced by the council.
“Although we have been contacted by a small number of people querying the legality of the charges, we are confident that they fully comply with Government legislation.
“Since they were introduced three weeks ago, 73 reported instances of fly-tipping have been recorded by our customer services staff. The figure for the previous month– before the charges came in - was 132.
“Last year, 120 reports were received in March and 108 in April.”
He added a change in operations means more officers are now available to investigate complaints.
Anyone who wishes to report incidents can call (01429) 523333.