NOT enough is being done to deal with fly-tipping in Wigan Borough according to a major union.
The GMB say that an increase of nearly 500 logged incidents of fly-tipping in the borough is down to council cut-backs in waste management departments.
Figures obtained by the GMB show that there was a rise of 498 incidents of fly tipping between 2009/10 and 2010/11. According to the GMB, there were 2,958 incidents in 2009/10, and 3,456 in 2010/ 11.
Paul McCarthy, GMB Regional Secretary, said: “Not only is fly-tipping illegal but it is damaging to the environment and according to the Environment Agency it costs £100-150m per annum to clean up.
“Two thirds of fly-tipping involves household rubbish and GMB believes it would make good economic sense to invest in more municipal waste and recycling centres to make it easier and cheaper for the public to dispose of waste properly.
“Some councils have redefined ‘fly-tipping’ so that even five bin bags left on the street is classified as ‘litter’ and not fly-tipping. This would explain why some of the figures are well down on the previous stats.”
However, Wigan Council say that they are winning the war on fly-tipping in the borough.
Terry Dunn, Director of Environment, said: “All local authorities are obliged to maintain records of fly-tipping incidents using a nationally recognised software programme called Fly Capture.
“However, the value of any data is inevitably affected by the way in which it is captured and recorded in the first place, which is highly likely to differ from one local authority to the next.
“Wigan Council is extremely proficient in maintaining records using Fly Capture and is equally vigilant in ensuring the most accurate data is submitted to DEFRA in exactly the way they request.
“We are obliged to include all incidents of fly-tipping, which can range from a bin bag or two of domestic waste left beside an overflowing wheely bin, through to the other extremes of 500 tyres or three tons of building rubble left in a beauty spot. Each is considered an incident.
“Whilst the vast number of fly-tipping instances are relatively minor, there are a few hundred sizeable incidents every year which require significant resources for the council to clear.
“Wigan Council is tackling the issue in a number of ways. For instance, this year we have taken the lead on several joint campaigns with the police aimed at identifying those waste carriers who are unlicensed and fining those who transport and dispose of waste illegally.
“We’re also committed to a programme of educational campaigns developed to ensure that residents know how to manage their waste.”