LIVERPOOL is the fifth worst fly- tipping hotspot in England, new figures reveal.
Data compiled by the GMB union showed there had been more than 54,000 incidents in the last two years – equivalent to 74 every day.
But the amount year on year has decreased, with 27,935 in 2009/10 and 26,139 in 2010/11, a decrease of 1,796.
In recent years, the city topped the list of shame but like other councils it no longer classes some rubbish dumping incidents as fly-tipping, leading GMB bosses to claim the problem may not be decreasing in quite the way the figures suggest.
The council, meanwhile, said it was working hard to track and prosecute fly- tippers and that it was “unacceptable” opposition figures called for tougher action, especially against businesses who were dumping rubbish “on an industrial scale”.
Earlier this year, the ECHO reported on how dozens of tyres and scores of bags of rubbish were dumped overnight in two locations in Tuebrook, both in the local brook and behind the Carlton cinema.
Cllr Steve Munby, cabinet member for the living environment and localism, said: “The level of fly- tipping in Liverpool is quite unacceptable. The trend is down but still too high. Of course, government cuts have made our job more difficult but this is not an excuse for complacency.
“People who live in Liverpool want to feel a sense of pride in the city and we must do everything we can to reduce fly-tipping.
“We need help from the public in acting as our eyes and ears to report illegal fly-tipping. But it is down to us and our partners to ensure we do more to bring the level of fly-tipping down.”
GMB national secretary for public services, Brian Stretton, said: “Not only is fly-tipping illegal but it is damaging to the environment and, according to the Environment Agency, it costs £100m-£150m per annum to clean up.
“Two thirds of fly tipping involves household rubbish and GMB believes it would make good economic sense to invest in more municipal waste and recycling centres to make it easier and cheaper for the public to dispose of waste properly.
“However, local authorities also need to target fly-tipping to improve their policing of the problem – out of 820,000 incidents last year, there were only 2,500 prosecutions throughout England and Wales.”
Liverpool council Liberal group leader Cllr Steve Radford added: “It’s still a very big issue and the only way to defeat it is to have some robust, high-profile prosecutions. We should put firms who fly-tip out of business.”