'Lazy, idle' odd-job men blamed after Sheffield allotments targeted by fly-tippers
'Lazy, idle' odd-job men have been blamed after a Sheffield allotment site was targeted by fly-tippers.
Earlier this month, a large quantity of domestic waste was dumped at the entrance of the Victoria Road council allotment site in Woodhouse.
The unsightly mess was spotted by Peter Wolstenholme, a volunteer photographer working with the Woodhouse Community Garden, who have a plot there.
He said the 'disgusting' practice has been going on all over Sheffield for a long time, but has got much worse in recent years.
"It is just idleness on some people's part," said Peter, 82.
"It's people who are doing home improvements who don't want to pay for the tip - so they just dump it."
Peter said allotment holders had told him it had happened at the site before - and he has seen similar problems on fields nearer where he lives.
"I am sick and tired of it. It is the same on the football pitches off June Road.
"I end up picking up bottles and all sorts."
Marion Gerson is the treasurer of the Sheffield Allotments Federation and an allotment holder at the Manor site.
She said they had seen similar issues at her site, but on allotments which can be drive through by the public, the problem can be much worse.
She said: "It is opportunistic. People just come in with a vehicle and dump it.
"It is usually people doing small jobs like changing carpets and tiling walls.
"They don't want to have to pay to take stuff to the tip."
Marion said Sheffield Council's allotment office 'do what they can' but they can't be expected to clean up every incident.
As a result, sometimes allotment holders themselves are forced to clear up fly tipping themselves, she said.
Mark Parry, Environmental Enforcement Team Manager at Sheffield City Council, said: “It is obviously upsetting to hear of this fly-tipping.
"Fly tipping is a crime and the Council has issued 41 Fixed Penalty Notices at Â£300 in the last 12 months.
"This amount is being raised to Â£400 soon. We have also issued 26 Fixed Penalty Notices for leaving waste and we have successfully prosecuted nine waste offences in the last year.
"Where appropriate, we have seized vehicles belonging to fly tippers, including three in the last 12 months.”
In the past two years at Victoria Road, the council say they have installed new gates, changed locks, purchased new skips and carried out a previous clean at Victoria Road car park - but there remains a public right of way through the site.
They also say they are working with the tenants at the allotment and local councillors to tackle fresh incidents on this and other sites across the city and would appeal to people to report incidents that they see.
"We take fly-tipping seriously and do many things to discourage it, including waste and recycling collections, a collection service for bulky items of waste, 'bring' sites for recyclable materials and Household Waste Recycling Centres across the city," a council spokesperson added.