'It is just disgusting': anger as fly-tippers blight beauty spot
One of South Tyneside's best-loved beauty spots has been targeted by fly-tippers.
Anthony Brew found the rubbish while out walking in Sunniside Lane, Cleadon Hills, this morning.
"I was walking my dog, which I do up there three or four times a week," he said.
"I was with my mam when we came across this pile of dumped rubbish.
"The road goes from The Lonnen all the way through to Cleadon Village and it was at The Lonnen end, close to the Cleadon water tower," said Anthony, 55.
"It is a pile of fly-tipping that looks as though it has been dumped from the back of a lorry - it is not just something someone has thrown out of the back of a van."
Fifty-five-year-old Anthony, from West Boldon, said fly-tipping was a recurrent problem in the area but this was the worst incident he had experienced:
"I cycle around that area, so it is a regular route for me," he said.
"It is an on-going issue in Cleadon Hills - it is just disgusting.
"I am not saying it happens every day or every week, but certainly five or six times a year this goes on and this is the worst that I have seen.
"It looks like it had been on fire. I am a retired firefighter so I know the tell-tale signs that a crew has been there."
Anthony has notified South Tyneside Borough Council of the tipping and is full of praise for the authority's response.
"I have to give full credit to the council. I rang them up and they were straight there," he said.
"The thing I find with the council is that if people do take the time to report stuff, they will take action.
"The council does a sterling job, I can't knock them - but they really are fighting a losing battle.
"It is such a beautiful area, a beautiful place to live, and it is being blighted by these ignorant criminals.
"Why are people not going to public tips to dump their rubbish?
"We can't just allow this to happen, there has got to be a way to deal with it.
"It is just disgusting."
Coun Nancy Maxwell, South Tyneside Borough Council Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "It is outrageous that a minority of people think they can dump rubbish in our Borough. Fly tipping is not only illegal and irresponsible, but can also be hazardous to the public and wildlife as well as being costly to clear.
"In this instance, the waste was set on fire, posing a greater environmental and safety risk to greenspace, wildlife, and property as well as the staff collecting it.
"We take instances of flytipping extremely seriously and will prosecute anyone we can identify as being responsible. We value the role our residents play in bringing these cases to our attention and would appeal for people to take details of any vehicles, and the people involved, so that appropriate action can be taken.
"Over the last decade, we have significantly reduced instances of fly-tipping through more awareness raising, education and improving the range of waste disposal services available. Our award-winning Recycling Village is daily from 8am to 6pm in the summer, and longer over Bank Holidays. With the help of our residents, we are committed to reducing the number of incidents even further.
"Anyone with information regarding fly-tipping can call the Council’s Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000, email [email protected] or visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit. All calls will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Further information about the many ways waste can be safely and responsibly disposed of in South Tyneside is available at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling