Fly-tipping: where are Manchester’s worst grotspots for dumped rubbish?

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We reveal the areas with the biggest spikes in illegal dumping - and how much it is costing taxpayers.

Fly-tipping reports in one part of Manchester more than doubled during the first half of 2021, the city council has revealed.

Out of 10 city hotspots there were 1,247 requests from people in Moss Side to clear dumped waste between January and July – up from 551 during the same period last year.

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But the area hardest hit by fly tipping during the first six months of this year was Harpurhey with 1,569 incidents and Levenshulme, where numbers rose by a third to 1,386.

In Gorton and Abbey Hey, where in September a huge pile of rat-infested rubbish was discovered in an alleyway, figures rose by a quarter to 1,209 over six months.

How much does the problem cost?

Around £2m is spent sending Biffa bin crews to clear up fly-tipped waste in Manchester every year, a meeting of the council’s environment and climate change scrutiny committee was told on Thursday.

The committee also heard that fly-tipping hotspots tend to be in areas of high deprivation and population density.

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Miles Platting and Newton Heath councillor John Flanagan called on the highways department to speed up the permit process for construction firms applying for skips to prevent more waste being dumped.

“Builders and skip companies are telling me that the council is taking between seven to 10 days to give street permits for skips, other authorities are doing it within a day,” he said.“That’s a disincentive for builders and that’s going to create more waste on the street.

“These are companies who need that permit to put the skip on the road then won’t do it, and that’s why we get more fly tipping.”

Caught out

In July two companies, Wise Pharmarcies Ltd of Moss Side and GTHMH Ltd of Withington, were collectively fined more than £12,500 after dumped commercial waste was traced back to them.

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Gorton and Abbey Hey councillor John Hughes suggested that the council should allow for commercial waste to be allowed at tips usually reserved for household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) as ‘it would cost a damn sight more’ than sending extra bin crews to clear it up.

Referring to the huge illegal dumping ground found behind houses on Mountbatten Street and Odette Street in Gorton, he said: “I’ve never seen anything as disgusting in my life.”Heather Coates, the council’s strategic lead for waste, recycling and street cleansing, said it would be illegal for businesses to take their commercial waste to HWRCs, and that firms need to be more responsible about managing their output.

What causes the problem?

Councillors were told that commercial waste was one of several causes of fly-tipping including criminality, with the council focusing on catching people and taking them to court.

Projects launched by the council to tackle fly-tipping were interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, though there are now plans to revive them.

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Most city wards saw fly-tipping reports increase between January and April this year, with the highest amounts of waste found on roads and pavements, followed by alleyways.

The biggest increase in volumes of dumped waste came from tipper lorry and transit van loads over the same period.

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