SUNDERLAND has come third in a North East table for areas with the most fly-tipping incidents.
Statistics show that there were 6,744 reported cases in the city in 2010/11, compared with 3,559 in 2009/10.
Newcastle topped the league table, with 22,389 incidents last year.
County Durham came second after reporting 7,564 cases.
Tom Brennan, regional secretary of the GMB union, which has analsysed the figures, said: “Not only is fly-tipping illegal but it is damaging to the environment and according to the Environment Agency it costs £100 to £150million per annum to clean up.
“Two thirds of fly-tipping involves household rubbish and GMB believes it would make good economic sense to invest in more municipal waste and recycling centres to make it easier and cheaper for the public to dispose of waste properly.”
Mr Brennan added that the GMB feels the Government should do more to drive incident numbers down.
He said: “Local authorities also need to target fly-tipping to improve their policing of the problem – out of 820,000 incidents last year there were only 2,500 prosecutions throughout England and Wales.
“Secretary of State Eric Pickles should lead a campaign to clamp down on fly-tipping while allowing councils extra money to invest in better waste facilities.”
Coun James Blackburn, portfolio holder for city services at Sunderland City Council, said that it was to be expected that the number of reported cases of fly-tipping had increased after the authority made it a priority to root out the problem.
Coun Blackburn said: “In 2010, the city council issued dozens of front-line employees with mobiles and handheld computers to report issues such as fly-tipping, litter and vandalism.
“Use of these devices means that council employees whose work includes tasks such as emptying bins, sweeping the streets, and cutting grass, are now reporting more issues they spot when they are out and about undertaking their duties within the city.
“Increased staff reporting is in line with Government directions and is part of the council’s on-going drive to improve cleanliness and improve responses.
“We encourage everybody to report fly-tipping as soon as possible.
“We all have a duty to be proud of where we live and the council investigates all reports.
“Please call the Neighbourhood Helpline on 0300 1000 101.”