Asbestos fly-tipped ‘in every corner’ of the county

Potentially lethal asbestos has been found illegally dumped in “every corner” of a rural county, a council has said.

Asbestos cement sheets are the most commonly fly-tipped material according to the council.

The toxic material has been fly-tipped “from Berwick to Alnwick and Bedlington to Hexham” in the past nine months, Northumberland County Council said.

In that time it has dealt with double the number of cases it handled the previous year.

Cabinet member Ian Swithenbank said it cost the authority more than £10,000.

If homeowners are unable to prove their hazardous waste has been removed by a registered operative they run “the real risk of being prosecuted if any dumped waste is traced back to them”, he said.

“Fly-tipping on private land remains a significant problem for farmers and landowners who are left frustrated when they, the victims of this crime, are left to clear up dumped waste and pay for its disposal,” Mr Swithenbank said.

The asbestos found was mostly corrugated sheeting, once commonly used in old colliery houses, farms and commercial properties which have now been modernised, the council said.

There are strict rules concerning its removal and disposal by a licensed operator but “unscrupulous waste contractors” have been dumping it to save costs, the authority added.

Source: BBC News

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