Flytippers blight Sunderland streets as waste problem mounts

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Residents living in an area of Sunderland estate say they feel like they are living near to a rat-infested rubbish tip with the mounting waste discarded in back streets.

A woman, who did not want to be named, and has lived in Hendon all her life, said over the past few months things have gone from bad to worse.

Read more: Sunderland ‘beginning to resemble rubbish dump’ as cuts hit clean-up teams

She said in the past cleansing teams would be seen in the area doing the rounds and picking up any discarded rubbish.

But since council cutbacks, she says unless people call in, no one checks the streets and even then it’s “pot luck” if anyone comes out.

Since 2010 the council has lost £200million in funding and is expected to lose another £115million by 2020.

“The rubbish is all over. In one of the streets, it looked like three houses had been emptied and dumped into the back street.”

Hendon Resident

The woman, who wished not to be named, said: “I know there has been cutbacks but things are getting worse and worse.

“The rubbish isn’t getting picked up and it’s turning into a health hazard – it’s disgusting. You can see where people have tried to set the rubbish on fire as well.

“We have rats and seagulls ripping apart bin bags left out in the street. The rubbish is all over. In one of the streets, it looked like three houses had been emptied and dumped into the back street.”

The woman, who has lived in her property for nine years, says residents have called a number of times to the council in a bid to rid the back lanes of rubbish, but are still waiting for someone to come and clean it up.

“It was so bad the other week, some of the residents put on industrial strength gloves and went out and cleaned it up. We were having to pick up dirty nappies and sanitary towels.

“People might think oh it’s only Hendon so it doesn’t really matter, but it does matter. There are a lot of people who live here who take pride in where we live.”

Areas, according to residents where back lanes are affected are Hendon Burn Area, Hendon Valley Road, Athol Road and Guildfield Street.

Coun Michael Mordey, Hendon ward councillor with a portfolio for City Services said: “The vast majority of residents take a pride in their city and dispose of rubbish correctly, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank and praise those that do so.

“Unfortunately, a small minority of people do not and think they have a right to dump their rubbish where they like. They do not have the right to dump their rubbish on the rest of us.

“Dumping rubbish in back lanes is anti-social and a civil offence and where the council can identify those who do, we will prosecute.

“It is simply not acceptable for people to burden the council tax payer because of their laziness.

“I would urge all residents to think about the impact their actions are having on their neighbours, their community and their city.

“The council’s resources are stretched to breaking point and we shouldn’t have to spend the vital resources we do have removing lazy people’s fly-tipped rubbish.

“As a Hendon councillor, I am also aware that our community is being targeted by a small number of professional fly-tippers.

“I can assure residents I am working hard with officers to catch these people and will push that we take action to the full extent of our power to stop it.”

Coun Mordey is calling on residents to pass on as much information as possible to the council on those they see dumping rubbish, including registration numbers of vehicles.

He added: “People need to realise that Hendon is a community, where good hard-working people live, it’s a community where kids go to school and play – we are not a dumping ground for the city’s rubbish!

Anyone with concerns about littering or fly-tipped can report it by calling 0191 520 5550, visiting sunderland.gov.uk or by contacting their local ward councillors Michael Mordey, Barbara McClennan and Victoria O’Neil.