Wigan man says fly-tipping hotspot is a danger to his health

A borough resident says the issue of fly-tipping outside his home has become so bad that it endangering his health.
James Lang sees rubbish being thrown behind his flat on a daily basisJames Lang sees rubbish being thrown behind his flat on a daily basis
James Lang sees rubbish being thrown behind his flat on a daily basis

James Lang says a mound of bin bags, food waste and even beds, behind his Hindley flat, has done nothing but grow in the eight months that he has lived there.

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The 43-year-old, says he cannot even open the windows because the risk of rats swarming in is too high.

James, who has lived in his flat for eight months, says the mound of rubbish behind his property is even a danger to life, after it was deliberately set alight.

“It’s totally ridiculous,” he said.

“It’s so unsightly, it’s so unbearable that this is happening.”

The fly-tipping hotspot is visible from James’s flat window, and sits close by to the car park of Tesco Extra.

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“It started off as just carrier bags, but now there are beds and even rats there. It’s disgusting.

He added: “It’s added to on a daily basis. I am not putting up with this.”

James also expressed concern that if the issue is not dealt with soon, it could even become fatal.

“If there’s a big fire, I could get trapped in my flat and get burned alive. I only have one way in and out, which is a stairway.

“There’s actually been a fire because of it,” he added.

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“I have CCTV installed, and I noticed somebody with a lighter. I saw this bed on fire and I called the fire brigade straight away. It could have been a bigger fire once it got going.”

He added: “It worries me a lot. At the time I moved in, I was unaware of the problem. I had a viewing of the flat, but the rubbish must have been just cleaned up at the time.

“There must be about two shopping bags being chucked over there every day. They are full of things like dog food, you can just smell it. It reeks.

“Even the floor is covered in grease every morning. It’s mud and grease everywhere, I need to wear wellies to go into my garden.

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“I feel like I may have to move, because I might do some damage to myself here.”

When considering why people might feel the need to dump rubbish behind his flat, James put it down to “just laziness.”

He said: “It’s far easier to chuck it over a wall than it is to take it to a skip. It’s a shame really. I just want it to stop.”

Frustrated firefighters were recently forced to issue a warning to Wiganers about dumping rubbish, amid an epidemic of deliberate fires start using waste and litter.

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They called for residents to refrain from leaving bags out in the street, as it could be providing arsonists with easy ammunition.

Last month, Wigan Council revealed work was being carried out to prevent fly-tipping at a number of hotspots in the borough, including the installation of barriers and hidden CCTV cameras which they hope will aid them in gathering evidence against potential offenders.

To report an incident of fly-tipping visit www.wigan.gov.uk/reportit or download the council’s Report It app via a smartphone.

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence, which carries various levels of punishment.

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The maximum penalty includes a fine of up to £50,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment.

However, in the most serious cases, a Crown Court can impose an unlimited fine and a jail term of five years.

In December, figures released under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act showed there were more than 1,800 examples of rubbish being dumped in the borough in 2016-17.

The problem appears to be increasing as well, with the latest figure a rise from the 1,759 fly-tipping incidents in 2015-16 but a reduction from the 1,951 recorded in 2014-15.

Council chiefs say seperate figures show a downward trend.