Incidents of fly-tipping in East Lancashire are on the rise, but why is this happening, why is it plaguing our towns, and who is to blame?

Over the last seven years, both Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn have seen a sharp increase in the number of fly-tipping incidents, with a huge rise in large-scale flytipping of commercial waste.

Fly-tipping in Burnley - fed up resident speaks out about disgusting mess

Lancashire Telegraph:

However, nearly two thirds of all incidents reported to all six local authorities within the region involve household waste, which is often seen strewn in the back alleys of residential areas, resulting in gut-wrenching smells and rodent infestation.

Lancashire Telegraph:

These images show the scale of fly-tipping across East Lancashire in the last eight months alone; from Blackburn to Darwen, Burnley to Oswaldtwistle, and even in beauty spots such as Rivington Pike; the mess is disgusting, embarrassing and dumping waste like this is ultimately illegal and can result in prosecution.

Lancashire Telegraph:

With each story we feature on fly-tipping, our reader reaction is mixed; some blame the council for failing to remove the waste, while the majority feel the onus is on those dumping it.

Lancashire Telegraph:

'There’s rats everywhere’ - resident's anger over state of Blackburn's streets

Following the publishing of a story about rats in the Infirmary area of Blackburn earlier this week, one website user said: "The council are always round cleaning the back alleys, and removing black bags, old mattresses, builders waste etc.

"Within a few days it's as bad as ever. The people that live in the houses are dumping the rubbish. Most of the alleys are gated."

Lancashire Telegraph:

While another commented: "I used to frequently go to that area to Dunn's Tackle Shop.

"I hadn't been around Infirmary/Mosley Street for 10 years, so the other week I had a walk around there with my dog and I was absolutely disgusted with the way the area had gone.

"One back yard (I think it was an empty property) must have had 200 black bags in the yard.

"But I did notice most of the alleys are now gated, so I presume a lot of it was down to general dirty gits.

"I picked some food up from Bastwell at 10pm other week, and on the way back to my car I saw six rats running wild - must be riddled with them there too."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Two weeks ago police seized several cars in Blackburn following reports of flytipping in the Highercroft area.

Police seize three vehicles following flytipping reports

Officers from Blackburn with Darwen council's environmental crime team said they would be leading on the investigation while police reassured residents that they would be working with their partners to tackle the issues.

Lancashire Telegraph:

A spokesperson for the police said: "We know that environmental crime is a concern to many of you and we will continue to work with our partners to tackle these issues and bring those responsible to justice."

Lancashire Telegraph:

And on July 10, councillor Neil Mottershead, who represents the Gannow Ward on Burnley Borough Council, said fly-tipping on Clifton Street and Accrington Road in the town was disgusting and was happening all too often, brandishing the culprits as 'parasites'.

Burnley councillor brands fly-tippers 'parasites' as rubbish strewn on town's main road

Lancashire Telegraph:

Many readers feel residents in these areas should be made to pay a compulsory surcharge with one reader saying: "My daughter lives on a new estate and they all pay twenty pounds a month to a private firm to look after the whole estate gardening etc.

"It is well worth the money and everywhere is spotless.

"It was part of the contract when buying the house."

With another saying: "Make the locals who live there pay a council surcharge that goes towards cleaning up the area.

"A bit like paying to have your garden waste picked up.

"The surcharge would have to be compulsory."

While a third reader commented: "If you don't respect where you live, you won't respect yourself."

Lancashire Telegraph:

In 2018/19, local authorities across England dealt with more than one million fly-tipping incidents - an increase of eight per cent from the 998,000 reported the year before.

But during lockdown, fly-tipping was said to have increased by 300 per cent in some communities, partly because the tips had closed, and partly because more people were staying at home and producing more waste.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Fly-tipping increases 300 per cent during UK lockdown - new study reveals

In April the Lancashire Telegraph was sent CCTV footage of two men fly-tipping sofa cushions in Azalea Road, Blackburn.

A resident in the area, who wished not to be named, said: “We are absolutely sick of it. These people have absolutely no respect. They should be shamed in front of their families.

“I often go to work and see takeaway containers dumped on the pavement. It’s absolutely disgusting. These people may be happy to live in their own filth but the rest of the community is not,

“I think people are taking advantage of the quieter streets because of the coronavirus lockdown to dump their waste. The situation is not helped by the council tip being closed.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Fly-tipping rises sharply in Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn

However, fly-tipping in East Lancashire is not a new problem, and with the tips re-opening at the beginning of this month, is it not time people took responsibility for their own waste, disposed of it correctly, and respected the areas they live and work in?

The household rubbish tips that are now open are:

Blackburn - George Street West (BB2 1PQ)

Darwen - Spring Vale Road (BB3 2ES)

Accrington – Whinney Hill Road (BB5 5EN)

Barnoldswick – West Close Road (BB18 5EN)

Burnley - Balderstone Lane (BB10 2TJ)

Clitheroe - Henthorn Road (BB7 3BY)

Haslingden – Duckworth Clough (BB4 5AN)