Fly-tipping incidents 'declining' in Wakefield

The amount of fly-tipped waste being collected by Streetscene officers has fallen significantly
The amount of fly-tipped waste being collected by Streetscene officers has fallen significantly

Incidents of fly-tipping have fallen significantly in rural parts of Wakefield a senior councillor has said.

Maureen Cummings, portfolio holder for environment, suggested that people are "more aware" of the problem, but that figures showed it wasn't increasing.

However, she said that more work needed to be done to stop people littering.

Speaking at a full council meeting, Coun Cummings said: "Fly-tipping in our more rural areas is not on the increase, but I do think people are more aware.

"In 2016/17 we had just over 1,200 tonnes of fly-tipped rubbish collected. In the eight months from April last year to date we're down to about 640 tonnes.

"It is going down, but it's our volunteers who are out picking up litter who are the ones flagging it up."

Conservative councillor Margaret Holwell complained that litter was creating a bad "impression" of Wakefield on visitors, and said she was aware of instances where bins had been overturned by people on nights out.

Coun Cummings said the issue still needed to be addressed, but that the local authority should not be held responsible for it by the public.

She added: "Some years ago people blamed the council for litter. It isn't the council. We don't go out on a Monday morning and drop litter all over the district.

"It's a problem and we need to do more education around it."

Figures revealed in a Freedom of Information request last year showed that clearing up fly-tipping was costing taxpayers around £200,000 a year.