Council accused of ‘double standards’ over fly-tipping

Carl Freeman at Eaves Avenue, Mytholm.
Carl Freeman at Eaves Avenue, Mytholm.

Calderdale Council has been accused of “double standards” after one of its staff was filmed fly-tipping - months after residents were warned they would be fined for doing the same.

Last year residents on Eaves Avenue, Mytholm, Hebden Bridge - who said they have always dumped garden waste over a wall adjacent to the River Colden, were warned that anyone caught doing so would face a prosecution and fine.

But, during the week leading up to Christmas, residents Carl and Paula Freeman caught a council street cleaner dumping leaves over the wall - and got it on film.

Carl, who has lived on Eaves Avenue for 27 years, said: “Everybody has always thrown their garden rubbish over the wall. Last year we got letters saying that anybody throwing rubbish over the wall was liable to a fine.

“Local workers were clearing up the leaves on the side of the road using snow shovels and they just threw them over the wall. I rang the council up and asked them what the difference was between my garden waste and their leaves. I’m still waiting for somebody to ring me back.

“People have only ever thrown garden rubbish over the wall. It keeps the wall up and if we didn’t there wouldn’t be a road up here because it would have collapsed.

“The council worker did a brilliant job clearing the leaves up and the leaves should go over the wall, but it’s double standards. They can’t make rules for us and do the complete opposite themselves.

“Nobody has ever thrown anything that’s not biodegradable over the wall. People respect this area and we can’t see anything wrong getting rid of a bit of grass or leaves. Nobody fly-tips here because they love the area where we live.”

Since the incident, Calderdale Council has warned its employees about their responsibilities and said no form of fly-tipping is acceptable - even if the waste is biodegradable.

Calderdale Council’s Head of Neighbourhoods, Andrew Pitts, added: “We take fly-tipping very seriously.

“When we tell the public to dispose of waste in an appropriate manner, we need to make sure that staff follow the same rules. We have spoken to all of our staff to make sure they are aware of the rules.”

Calderdale Council’s Head of Housing, Environment and Renewal, Mark Thompson, said: “Dumping leaves and garden waste in any area is classed as fly-tipping. It can spoil the environment and looks unsightly.

“Even dumping a small amount of garden waste might encourage other people to do the same, which can result in the build-up of fly-tipping and possibly the dumping of household refuse too.

“People should dispose of all waste appropriately. Instead of dumping your garden waste, you can use it to make compost or take it to your local recycling centre.

“Residents are reminded that Eastwood Household Waste Recycling Centre reopens on Monday, January 20.”