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Fly-tipping increases after closure of Beckfield Lane waste site
RUBBISH dumped illegally in York has increased by more than ten per cent since the council closed Beckfield Lane tip, new Government figures show, and recycling is falling in the city.
Opposition councillors said York’s position as one of the greenest cities in the UK was slipping, but City of York council defended its record.
Data released by DEFRA showed more than 1,034 flytipping reports in the city in 2012/13 – about 12 per cent more than in 2011/12.
Beckfield Lane household waste recycling centre closed in April 2012, around the time the most recent figures began.
DEFRA’s statistics also show costs to the council have soared by nearly 20 per cent in the last year – it spent an estimated £53,295 clearing up illegal waste dumps in 2012/13.
At the same time, the council’s own figures show homes in York have recycled less, sending 14,620 tonnes for recycling in 2012/13 - 450 tonnes down on the previous year.
Figures show the council now expects to recycle 42.76 per cent of York’s household waste this year against a target of 47.6 per cent.
A report to the council’s cabinet blames the recession, but admits there could be a spike in the amount of rubbish going to landfill and higher Landfill Taxes for the council to pay.
However, the council has blamed lower recycling rates on the economy forcing people to buy less and changes in packaging laws.
It said about 20 per cent of the reported fly-tipping happened in back lanes when residents had not got to grips with new rubbish collections, which artificially inflated the figures.
Richard Wood, assistant director of city and environmental service at City of York Council, said: “What we can say is that more has been indentified.
“This may be due to providing more ways for people to report fly-tipping than ever before, such as the Smarter York app, phone number and the council’s website.
“It would be wrong to imply the closure of Beckfield Lane has resulted in an increase in flytipping.
“Acomb ward, where Beckfield Lane is located, has had no increase in fly-tipping over the last three years.”
But Liberal Democrat group leader Keith Aspden criticised the figures and said the council’s policies were destroying York’s hard-won position as one of the greenest cities in the UK.
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