Sunderland set to clamp down on ‘cash for trash’ scrapmen

Nettles Lane in Doxford after it was blocked by dumped rubbish.
Nettles Lane in Doxford after it was blocked by dumped rubbish.
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These are the unsightly scenes left behind by cash-in-hand scrapmen who cart away waste, only to ditch it on Wearside’s back lanes, leaving council chiefs with a £250,000 clear-up bill.

Sunderland City Council has released these photographs to the Echo to hit home the reality of the clear- up jobs it faces – with the taxpayer footing the bill.

East Back Parade in Hendon, where wood and other waste was left behind by flytippers.

East Back Parade in Hendon, where wood and other waste was left behind by flytippers.

The authority is investigating and preparing court action against several suspected fly-tippers following a spate of littering and tipping in the city, with incidents in Doxford, Hendon, Millfield, Ryhope and St Michael’s.

It is also warning residents not to deal with ‘scrap-men’ who take away large amounts of waste for £20, as their illegal collections are then being dumped.

The latest figures show the council had to foot an investigation bill of £47,880 during the last financial year, with 2,413 incidents reported.

More than £200,000 was spent on clean-up operations, with 800 warning letters issued by the authority.

All householders have a legal duty of care to ensure their waste is disposed of lawfully.

Councillor Michael Mordey

Councillor Michael Mordey, the council’s cabinet member for city services and a Hendon councillor, said: “We’ve been looking at recent fly-tipping incidents.

“We have found that householders are being approached by illegal operators offering to take away large quantities of waste for as little as £20.

“Collected waste is being dumped in fields, back lanes, and even in our parks.

“The council is now preparing prosecutions against several of these illegal waste collectors. All householders have a legal duty of care to ensure their waste is disposed of lawfully.

DIY and household waste tipped in Ryhope.

DIY and household waste tipped in Ryhope.

“This includes making reasonable checks to see waste is being properly disposed of.

“If somebody is taking waste away for you get a receipt and always ask where the waste is being taken.

“It costs more than £100 per tonne to dispose of waste legally and very likely that charging less means that it is not being disposed of lawfully.”

Residents can take their own waste to the Beach Street Household Recycling centre and the Sita site in Hendon at no charge.

Waste dumped near Ryhope Beach.

Waste dumped near Ryhope Beach.

The council also collects up to eight large bulky items for £15 and you can get together with neighbours to share the cost.

Anyone who would like more details on bulky collections or waste disposal can visit www.sunderland.gov.uk or call (0191) 520 5550, which can also be used to report incidents.

Councillor Ellen Bell, chairman of Sunderland City Council's East Area Committee and Councillor Michael Mordey, cabinet member for city services, with fly-tipped items in a back lane in Hendon.

Councillor Ellen Bell, chairman of Sunderland City Council's East Area Committee and Councillor Michael Mordey, cabinet member for city services, with fly-tipped items in a back lane in Hendon.