South Lakeland District Council has launched investigations into two ‘totally irresponsible’ fly-tipping incidents.
A large-scale load of 118 used tyres was dumped onto a country road at Barbon on Saturday evening (January 16), and what appeared to be a skip-full of builders’ waste was tipped onto the road between Arnside and Silverdale on Tuesday, (January 19) also after dark.
In both instances the carriageway was temporarily blocked. It is not known if the incidents are connected.
The council has launched an appeal for witnesses and information. SLDC Locality Officer John Barwise said clearing up both scenes had involved a considerable amount of council time and resources which could have been put to better use elsewhere during the coronavirus pandemic.
“These are obviously deliberate acts and totally irresponsible,” said Mr Barwise.
“In the first incident, the quantity of tyres suggests they are from a garage or a tyre service business, and we hope members of the public may be able to help us try to track down the people responsible. Our investigations will be continuing over the coming days.
“We would like to thank the public-spirited residents of Barbon for taking the time to report the incident to us, and also the residents who we understand moved the tyres onto the grass verge to allow safe access on the road. We believe the original deposit blocked the road entirely.”
It is thought the large-scale load of worn car and van tyres was abandoned at Stonedross Lane, Barbon, between 5pm and 7.30pm on Saturday.
“Our Street Scene operatives spent a considerable amount of time and effort loading the tyres onto a pick-up from the roadside,” said Mr Barwise.
“They were spread for about 150 metres along a narrow grass verge. That time could have been better spent than clearing up after irresponsible fly-tippers.”
Meanwhile, what appears to have been a skip-full of builders’ waste including concrete slabs and household rubbish was tipped onto the Arnside to Silverdale road on Tuesday evening, between 6pm and 7.30pm, probably by a medium-sized tipper.
Members of the public are being asked to report anything that may have looked suspicious, such as a loaded truck or tipper travelling along a road and returning empty, or a pile of tyres or builders’ waste that has suddenly disappeared.
Cllr Philip Dixon, SLDC Portfolio Holder for Customer and Commercial Services and People, said: “This isn’t somebody who’s got a couple of old tyres in the garage at home, it’s somebody who’s done it because they don’t want to pay the tipping fees – 99.9 per cent of people wouldn’t do it.
“Nobody with any sense wants fly-tipping. It’s an insult to the community and all of us in South Lakeland. It’s offensive to us that people feel they can come and throw their rubbish around.”
A council spokesman added: “We are lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country and we want to make sure it stays that way and isn’t spoiled by the thoughtless actions of fly-tippers.
“Fly-tipping is not a victimless crime. As well as the cost to the environment, the financial cost of clearance, disposal and investigation is ultimately borne by the Council Tax payers of the district.
“We investigate every case of fly-tipping reported and, if appropriate, action will be taken. This can range from fixed penalty notices and warning letters being issued to prosecutions, potentially significant fines and even custodial sentences.”
The maximum penalty for fly-tipping that can be imposed by the courts is a £50,000 fine and up to five years in prison for the most serious offences.