Officials at a church ‘plagued’ by fly-tipping for the last five years say the problem is so bad they may have to close the churchyard to new burials.
Church leaders say fly-tippers are dumping rubbish in St Peter’s churchyard in South Hiendley and they are struggling to find a solution to the problem.
John Dean, a church volunteer, said: “The churchyard has been plagued with flytipping for the past five years. Wakefield Council has supported us in removing the rubbish but has now told they can no longer collect it so we should fit a lockable gate.
“Flytippers could still just throw the rubbish over the gate. For our volunteers to drive down to the church twice a day to open and lock the gate is not practical.
“We would like the council to continue with the service they’ve provided.
“Local residents value the facilities at the church, but if we continue to have problems it may be necessary to close the churchyard to new burials or ask the council to take responsibility for the churchyard.”
Hemsworth councillor Sandra Pickin said: “It is bad enough to conduct flytipping anywhere in the district but in a churchyard where people’s loved ones are buried is disgusting and disrespectful.
“I am hoping to organise a meeting with volunteers and the council’s streetscene team to try to come up with a solution because this has gone on too long.
“If anyone sees someone flytipping they should contact the police.”
Glynn Humphries, Wakefield Council service director for environment and streetscene, said: “We are aware of persistent fly-tipping at St Peter’s Church in South Hiendley and are working with church volunteers and our partners to tackle the problem.
“We take a zero tolerance approach to fly-tipping and where appropriate we will use every tool at our disposal to identify and take action against irresponsible residents that blight our community with their waste.
“We urge anyone who witnesses fly-tipping or littering to report it on 0845 8 506 506.”