FLY-TIPPING incidents in Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn boroughs have increased sharply over the last seven years, new government statistics reveal.

But they fell in Burnley and Pendle.

East Lancashire's six boroughs saw an overall rise in incidents to 12,496 with a big rise in large-scale fly-tipping, often of commercial waste, from 33 to 215.

In 2012/13 there were 2,887 cases of unauthorised dumping of rubbish in Blackburn with Darwen of which nine involved lorry loads of waste.

In 2018/19 this had risen to 3,494 of which 104 were lorryloads, landing the borough with a bill of £4,800 to remove them.

In Hyndburn the number of fly-tipping incidents more than doubled over the same period from 1,138 to 2,613 and the number of lorry loads of rubbish dumped rose from four to 73, costing the council £73,000 to clear up.

Cases in Rossendale also rose from 383 in 2012/13 to 887 in 2018/19, while the number of large incidents went from seven to 28, costing £12,790 to clear.

However in Burnley the number of fly-tipping incidents recorded fell from 3,932 in 2012/13 to 2,702 in 2018/19 while lorryloads dumping fell from eight to four.

Pendle also recorded a fall over the period from 5,065 to 2,155, while the number of major tipping incidents remained at five in each year.

In Ribble Valley there were 794 fly-tipping incidents in 2012/13 and 645 in 2018/19 when a single lorry load-sized dumping was recorded.

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s deputy leader, said: “It’s no longer just individuals but gangs dumping industrial quantities of waste leaving the council with a big bill to clear them up.

“The problem is catching those responsible.”

Hyndburn Council leader Miles Parkinson said part of the problem was caused by irresponsible businesses fly-tipping commercial waste, sometimes by firms offering to legally dispose of household furniture or DIY debris, to avoid county council refuse centre charges.

He said: “This is a very serious issue for which the council taxpayer picks up the bill."

Cllr Charlie Briggs, leader of Burnley Council, said: "We have very active observation and enforcement teams supported by members of the public and councillors.

“Householders need to beware of unlicensed individuals and firms offering to take way rubbish like sofas or building work waste and who then dump it."