The cost of clearing up fly-tipping in the north of the county has been revealed.
Between them, Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire councils shelled out a little over £185,000 clearing away items including household waste, car parts, asbestos and chemicals which had been illegally dumped.
While Kettering and East Northamptonshire councils saw small increases on the amount spent clearing up rubbish, Wellingborough and Corby saw their bills fall.
That was despite Corby having more fly-tipping incidents reported to them.
The figures are estimates collated by the Office for National Statistics.
Wellingborough Council had the smallest bill, at £28,306, which was a sharp decline on last year’s total of just over £49,000.
The figure for all four councils represented an increase on last year’s total, which was over £179,000.
Mark Reneerkens, from Wellingborough Norse, the company which carries out environmental services on behalf of Wellingborough Council, said: “We’ve done a lot of work recently around education and awareness, to make sure people know about the problems caused by fly-tipping and the ways they can dispose of their rubbish responsibly.
“We’ve also made operational changes, meaning that smaller fly-tips are picked up by our cleansing teams on their normal rounds, leaving our environmental response team able to focus on the larger items, which again can save money.
“Fly-tipping is a crime we take very seriously, and we will investigate it and issue penalty notices and bring prosecutions where we can.
“We will go through rubbish we find dumped to try and trace it back to the owner.
“We’d also like to remind people that if they pay someone else to take away their waste, they need to check the person is a registered waste carrier and get a receipt or they could be at the risk of prosecution themselves if the rubbish is then illegally dumped.”
A spokesman for East Northamptonshire Council said: “We operate a zero-tolerance policy in relation to fly-tipping.
“All reports of fly-tipping are fully investigated by officers from the waste team, and we will seek to find offenders who deposit material unlawfully, taking enforcement action and recouping costs where possible.
“In 2013, we have seen a reduction in the cost for clearing and disposing of fly-tipping in East Northamptonshire, due in part to our proactive approach in dealing with incidents in our district.
“For households who need to dispose of unwanted items, we offer a bulky waste collection service, and there is also a household waste disposal site at Rushden which people can take their household waste to.”
Workers clear same sites again and again
Peter Morse and Paul Stock have seen a few sights while clearing up fly-tippping during the last several years working for Wellingborough Norse, but both say the issue is getting worse.
The duo respond to fly-tipping reports in the Wellingborough area on Mondays, spending the rest of the week delivering and repairing bins and carrying out other duties.
Peter said he has seen fly-tipping increase in recent years.
He added: “A lot more people are just throwing rubbish into alleyways and we respond to a lot of call-outs. It keeps us busy every Monday.”
Paul said he has seen some unusual items dumped, but he enjoys clearing away dead animals the least.
He added: “A lot of what we see is green waste and building materials. Asbestos is the worst, because you have to get kitted out in a special suit to clear it away.
“We get called to the same spots time and time again. The regular fly-tippers must know all the best places.”
Peter added: “It’s a bit demoralising clearing up one area to know you’ll probably be back there again in a few weeks time.”
Telegraph reporter Michael Whelan joined the pair and saw them clearing away sofas, two beds dumped by the side of a residential street off John Lea Way and, most unusually, dozens of bags of what appeared to be cannabis root and leaves dumped in the access to a farmer’s field off Grendon Road near the A45.
Much of what was recovered was taken to a waste site run by Mick George near the Ecton Lane tip.
Wellingborough Norse carries out environmental work on behalf of Wellingborough Council.