Sunderland hit by more than 20 flytipping offences every day

Rubbish dumped near James Steel Park in Washington.
Rubbish dumped near James Steel Park in Washington.

Sunderland is one of the biggest fly-tipping hotspots in England, with more than 20 incidents every day on average, according to new figures.

Data released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has revealed the scale of the “epidemic” facing councils across the country, with almost one million incidents recorded in England in 2017-18.

Rubbish seen dumped in Foxcover Lane in East Herrington on Sunday, August 26. Picture by Councillor Stuart Porthouse.

Rubbish seen dumped in Foxcover Lane in East Herrington on Sunday, August 26. Picture by Councillor Stuart Porthouse.

In Sunderland, there were 9,055 fly-tipping incidents in the 12 months to March, one of the highest numbers of any local authority in England.

This was an increase of 54% from the previous year.

The most common type of waste dumped in Sunderland was household waste, which accounted for 3,581 incidents, followed by black bags of household rubbish.

Waste was most commonly dumped on back alleyways.

Clearing up the rubbish and taking action against perpetrators is estimated to have cost the council around £849,500 last year.

Councils can take a range of actions against fly-tipping, from sending warning letters to launching prosecutions.

Last year Sunderland City Council took action on 6,345 occasions, up from 3,558 in 2012-13.

These included launching 5,694 investigations, sending out 458 warning letters, issuing 128 penalty notices, and undertaking one inspections.

It also carried out four prosecutions, which resulted in fines worth £1,100.

Between April and September of this year, the council has carried out 2,093 investigations, sent out 1,138 warnings and notices and issued 60 fixed penalty notices and fines.

There has also been seven prosecutions made by the council since April which were all successful.

Coun Amy Wilson, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “This council actively encourages the public and all staff to report all fly-tipping.

“Fly-tipping is unacceptable and the council continues to step up its enforcement work and prosecute those who don’t take responsibility for their waste.

“Reporting fly-tipping means it can be tackled and investigated and in some cases several people do report the same incident.

“Recently, some of the council’s fly-tipping prosecutions have been possible because members of the public have recorded and reported what they have seen.

“The council will continue to take action against the irresponsible minority that blight our city.”

The figures were released as the Echo continues its Clean Streets campaign, which is calling on Wearsiders to be more responsible for their own waste in an effort to build a cleaner, more inviting and more welcoming city.

Anyone who sees items they think have been fly-tipped on a street or green space can contact Sunderland City Council to arrange its removal either by reporting it online at sunderland.gov.uk or by calling 0191 520 5550.