Fly-tippers have been branded “shameful” after they blocked a busy country lane in Sunderland by leaving rubbish strewn across the area.
Household items including a fridge, fences and furniture were dumped in Foxcover Lane near East Herrington yesterday, an incident which has been slammed by a leading councillor.
Sunderland City Council workers were called out to remove the mess from the lane, with some people who use the road for their morning commute having to use alternative routes until the problem was dealt with.
Resident Carolyn Hall was out for an early morning walk when she took a snap of the rubbish.
“I could see traffic going up Foxcover Lane and then having to come back so I realised something was happening,” said Carolyn, 54, who lives at Middle Herrington Farm.
“There was about 30 to 40 metres of rubbish just left all over the place and it was totally blocking the road.
“There were garden fences, a fridge and bags of rubble which had split open on the ground.
“A cyclist who came along the road had to go up on the grass to get around it.
“The workers I was talking to seemed to think it was dumped first thing because they had an emergency call to come and deal with it.”
Carolyn added that she hopes the perpetrators can be caught and brought to justice.
“Hopefully the council can trace where this has come from because it’s certainly a safety issue,” she said.
“This is a single track road and if somebody had come driving over in the dark they could have crashed their car quite easily.
“It’s so dangerous to dump things like this.”
The council’s cabinet member for environment and transport Coun Amy Wilson today slammed those responsible, saying: “This is shameful that an individual or group thinks it appropriate or correct to just dump their waste like this.
“I’m fairly confident that most people in our city will join me in saying that this is just not on.
“For all the time and effort they’ve gone into driving to this spot, they could have just organised a bulk collection or taken the waste to a household centre.
“As Echo readers can see, council staff have been cleaning up and looking into if we can trace who might be behind this.
“The council has increased its enforcement powers and is continuing to prosecute and investigate fly-tippers and litter bugs at every available opportunity.
“Since February 2017, more than 1,300 Formal Warnings and Notices and 173 Fixed Penalty Notices for environmental crimes across the city, including littering, dog fouling and fly-tipping.
“Hard-pressed council tax payers should not be having to pay for the actions of these selfish fly-tippers.”
Coun Stuart Porthouse, cabinet member for housing and regeneration who represents the St Chad’s ward, passed the scene and alerted the council.
“I travel along this road on numerous occasions and was shocked to see the amount of rubble obviously tipped from a large pick up or wagon,” he said.
“The person responsible for tipping such a large amount of builders rubble must have no conscience or understand of the environmental damage they are doing to our countryside
“It is totally unacceptable and those responsible must be found and prosecuted.
“Unfortunately the police and council officers cannot continuously patrol or monitor this length of road Foxcover Lane.
“I understand some members of the public are afraid to speak up and come forward and if that is the case they can contact me and I will guarantee they remain anonymous.”
The latest incident comes as the Echo continues its Clean Streets campaign, which aims to have a Sunderland with the least litter possible.
We are calling on readers to highlight any instances of dumped rubbish so it can be disposed of properly.
The community campaign is also encouraging 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.
A spokesman for Sunderland City Council said: “The City Council received a report at 7.30am on Tuesday of the unlawful deposit of waste at Foxcover Lane which entirely blocked the highway and prevented vehicle access.
“Fly-tip Investigation Officers attended the area immediately to inspect the waste and retrieved evidence which has now been referred to an Environmental Enforcement Officer to undertake an investigation.
“The waste has been cleared and the public highway reopened.”