ELECTRICAL items are being crushed at recycling centres across East Lancashire to deter thieves.

Waste giants Sita, which run centres in Accrington, Barnoldswick, Blackburn, Burnley and Longridge said the majority of its sites now crushed electrical items.

Trespassing and attempts to steal items that have been dumped have been a major issue at the Household Waste Recycling Centre on the Heasandford Industrial Estate in Burnley, with the issue a priority for neighbourhood police for several months.

Father-of-five Jason Mark Marren, 32, was found dead at the Whinney Hill landfill site, in Accrington, in September last year.

Police believed he may have been looking for items to sell at the Burnley site and fallen in.

The firm said the items were being crushed to make waste easier to transfer, with the added benefit of deterring thieves from breaking in to the sites and looking for items to steal.

A spokesman for Sita said: “Deterring thieves and stopping potential thefts is a side benefit.

“We crush the items for other reasons. A lot of the items are different shapes, such as TVs, toasters, fridges, and so they will not fit neatly into the containers without being crushed.

“Also, by crushing the items to make them smaller it means we can use less lorries to transport the waste.

“We want to keep as many lorries off the road as we can. People who live nearby don’t want the noise of the lorries and we can reduce carbon emissions and fuel costs.”