Authorities get tough on fly-tipping menaces in Wigan

Fly-tippers are more likely to be fined for dumping rubbish in Wigan than almost anywhere else in the country.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 4:55 am

Wigan Council issued fixed penalty notices for 8.57 per cent of incidents of illegal dumping in 2019-20, new analysis of data has revealed.

That ranks the local authority ninth in the country for the proportion of fly-tipping reports leading to fines.

The problem is a focus for council chiefs, who thanked people living in Wigan for their help in tracking down offenders.

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Fly-tipping in Wigan

Paul Barton, the council’s director for environment, said: “Not only is fly-tipping a criminal offence, it blights our environment and is expensive to clean up. There is no excuse for fly-tipping. By making every effort to recycle and to dispose of household waste correctly, it helps to keep our local environment cleaner and safer which helps to keep our council tax low.

“Much of our waste management work prioritises education over enforcement, however, fly-tipping will not be tolerated and we will not hesitate to prosecute or issue fixed penalty notices to the perpetrators.

“We thank our residents for their continued support with this issue, as we are reliant on eye-witnesses of fly-tipping to come forward with as much information as possible, including vehicle registrations or a home address so we can take action. To reduce fly-tipping, Wigan Council has three household waste and recycling centres across the borough that are open seven days a week, as well as a free bulky waste collection service.”

Experts at OnlineMortgageAdvisor.co.uk analysed government data to find out how local authorities were responding to the problem of fly-tipping.

They discovered there were 887 incidents of illegal dumping in Wigan during the 12-month period, with 76 fixed penalty notices issued.

The local authority with the highest proportion of fines was Islington in London, where 71.88 per cent of incidents led to notices, followed by Barnet with 54.65 per cent.

Wigan was the best-performing council in the North, with neighbours St Helens achieving 3.69 per cent, West Lancs at 1.39 per cent and Bolton at 0.53 per cent.

Some councils in the country gave out just a handful of fines, while some issued none at all.

The majority of the 887 incidents in Wigan saw rubbish dumped in back alleyways (427) or on council land (211), while there were also problems on highways (91) and footpaths or bridle ways (78).

Much of the waste was black bags (209) and other household waste (491), with others including construction waste (74), white goods (18) and commercial waste.

It costs the council £136 to deal with an incident involving a single item, £283 for waste that fills a car boot, £276 for a small van and £120 for a transit van.

Volunteers and partner organisations have been working alongside the council to tackle the problem.

Alison Thorpe, from Lucky Hens Rescue, teamed up with Hindley and Hindley Green Litter Pickers to clean up Seaman Way in Ince, which she believes could be the worst place in the UK for fly-tipping.

The council has erected cameras, cut back overgrown foliage and taken other action in this area.

And earlier this month thousands of items of rubbish were pulled out of the River Douglas in Wigan in a clean-up organised by Stormwater Shepherds and involving several other organisations, including the council.

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Thousands of items pulled from the river in clean-up operation in Wigan

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