Revealed: Shocking scale of fly-tipping in Sheffield neighbourhood
Kitchen units, dining suites, beds and sound speakers – this is just some of the rubbish Sheffield residents have found dumped in their community.
Beighton residents say they are fighting a losing battle against fly-tippers who are blighting their neighbourhood. And they fear the problem will get even worse amid huge budget cuts at Sheffield Council.
Ken Crowder from Owlthorpe Community Forum says the size of the rubbish dumped is staggering.
“Litter implies cigarette packets and sweet wrappers thrown out of cars but we are clearing rubbish such as disco speakers,” he said.
“We had three speakers dumped in the woods and we’ve found dining suites, complete kitchens, beds, mattresses and tyres.
“We picked up a kitchen once and when we checked, it had an address from Dewsbury. We contacted the Environment Agency and this guy had fitted a kitchen and taken the old one out and just dropped it as he was passing through.
“We’re a semi rural area, it’s dark at night and not many people are about so they go there. It’s just criminality.
“We drag out the rubbish and move it to one of five locations which we have agreed with the council and they collect the items within 24 hours.
“The tips are just not open long enough, they need to be open later into the evening.”
Graham Syke set up Beighton Environment Group in 2003 in response to the litter problems and has been keeping the area clean for the best part of 15 years.
He said: “The problem is a lot of the recycling centres have reduced their hours but I think they should be open 24/7.
“It’s false economy not to have the tips open on a Tuesday. People will turn up and not realise it’s closed so will dump it elsewhere. The kitchen we picked up must have cost thousands of pounds.
“Rather than remedial measures it would make much more sense to make the tips more accessible, especially at weekends.”
Kath Davis from Beighton Tenants and Residents Association agrees.
She said: “The recycling centres aren’t open long enough but it’s absolutely brain dead because some people turn up, find it closed so just dump their rubbish.
“We have asked the council for skips but they can’t afford those either. Beighton TARA is only small and we only have £2,000 a year funding so we can’t afford to provide skips.”
Local councillors say part of the problem is severe budget cuts from nine years of austerity.
Coun Chris Rosling-Josephs said: “In the past we have been able to pay for a bin lorry or skip but since austerity began, budgets have been reduced and costs have gone up. We barely have any area budget to spend now and it’s £1,000 for a bin lorry each day.”
Coun Ian Saunders says essential services such as adult social care and children’s services are being maintained but there’s just not enough money for other services.
“People often say why is my council tax going up when services are going down but the costs are so big that 2.9 per cent council tax rise is only partially off-setting all the cuts. We are trying to keep essential services going.”
People who witness fly-tipping can report it to Sheffield Council on 0114 273 4567.