Fly-tipping rockets in Hartlepool in five years as council chiefs pledge to clamp down

Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher (left) and Garry Jones, the council's Team Leader, Cleansing and Grounds Maintenance, tackling back street fly-tipping during a day of action in Hartlepool town centre.
Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher (left) and Garry Jones, the council's Team Leader, Cleansing and Grounds Maintenance, tackling back street fly-tipping during a day of action in Hartlepool town centre.

Fly-tipping in Hartlepool has increased by more than 130% in the last five according to new figures.

Data released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) shows there are an average of six incidents every day.

It comes after Hartlepool Borough Council introduced controversial charges to dispose of household DIY waste at its recycling centre in Burn Road in April last year.

Over 90% of the 1,300 people who took part in a Mail poll said they believed fly-tipping would increase as a result of the charges.

The council says the rise could be partly down to it making it easier for people to report incidents, but stresses it is determined to clamp down on the problem.

In Hartlepool, there were 2,291 fly-tipping incidents in the 12 months to March 2018, an increase of 136% from five years ago, when there were 969.

Across England, fly-tipping increased by 40% over the same period.

Tipping incidents in Hartlepool most commonly involved volumes of waste that were the equivalent of a small van load.

However, the area is also seeing increasing numbers of large-scale tips, involving a lorry load of rubbish or more.

The most common type of waste dumped in Hartlepool was household waste, which accounted for 1,082 incidents, followed by black bags of household rubbish and construction or DIY waste.

Rubbish was most commonly dumped in back alleyways.

In April 2017, the council introduced charges for the disposal of certain non-household DIY waste at the recycling site in Burn Road.

It charges £3 to dispose of up to 25kg bags or per item of soil, hardcore, rubble and ceramics, £3.20 for tyres, £7.20 for asbestos and £6 for plasterboard.

In April this year the council also started offering improved and extended standard and premium removal services.

A council review found DIY wastes make up less than 0.01% of rubbish fly-tipped, which it says has not increased since the introduction of the charges.

Last year the council took action on 2,505 occasions, up from 2,027 in 2012-13.

These included launching 2,291 investigations, sending out five warning letters and undertaking 59 inspections.

It also carried out 20 prosecutions, which resulted in fines worth £3,478.

A council spokesman said: “Through the development of the

Council’s online services, we have made it easier and more convenient for people to report fly-tipping and this may well be reflected in the figures.

“However, we acknowledge that fly-tipping is a serious blight on the local environment and it is something that we are determined to clampdown on.”