A councillor has blasted “despicable” fly-tippers after abestos was discarded by the side of a busy road.
Anthony Sykes, ward representative for Ashton, was leading a group of volunteers on a litter pick last week when they discovered the hazardous material in a pile of rubbish by the side of Bolton Road.
The council was informed immediately and barriers were placed around the scene to prevent any contact, before Coun Sykes took the material to the Kirkless recycling centre in Hindley, where it was safely disposed.
Fortunately the asbestos was found and disposed of before any residents came into contact with it, but Coun Sykes was left infuriarted by the thoughtless culprits.
“Any fly-tipping is illegal and to to be condemned,” he said.
“I struggle to comprehend the selfish, lazy mentality that allows fly-tippers to just dump their waste in the community rather than take it to one of the many recycling centres provided. However, for anyone to fly tip asbestos is despicable.
“It poses a clear health risk and It could easily have been smashed up and become extremely dangerous.”
Ashton residents are now being urged to remain vigilant and report any fly-tippers they might spot.
Coun Sykes went on: “It would be understandable if this experience made the volunteer group hang up their litter pickers. However, we are made of stern stuff in Ashton and no doubt the group will all be out again in September.
“I do find it slightly infuriating picking up other people’s litter, but this is outweighed by the sense of well-being gained doing something positive to help the community.”
Paul Barton, Wigan Council’s director for environment said: “Fly-tipping is not only a blight on the environment but in this case, the material fly-tipped could have been hazardous to the perpetrator of the crime and for any members of the public who could have come into contact with the material.
“If residents do need to remove asbestos, they can get further advice by visiting our website.”
He added: “By working with councillors and members of the public we can ensure environmental crime is dealt with quickly, efficiently and most importantly, safely.”