THE CONTINUED blight of fly-tipping across Saddleworth isn’t connected to last autumn’s bin collection changes, insists Oldham Council.
And since switching to a three-week bin collection rota, they claim recycling rates have increased.
But our photographs show Saddleworth continues to be dumped upon by fly-tippers, with a number of hot spots on Ripponden Road, Harrop Edge Lane and at Lark Hill.
And Tameside Council has changed their blue bin collections from every three to two weeks, claiming it will increase recycling rates.
A number of readers, responding to our pictures on social media, have blamed the latest change to domestic refuse collections as a contributory factor in the rise of fly-tipping.
However, Oldham Council leader, Cllr Jean Stretton disputes the claim.
“Some predicted the adoption of the new system would mean a significant rise in fly-tipping,” she said.
“But the fly-tipping is not what responsible households dispose of in the bins provided.
“I’m pretty sure the mattresses, the fridges and the sofas that are reported as fly-tipped would never have fitted into the grey bin anyway.
“The trade waste that gets dumped is also something we are working hard to address.
“I understand the misery and blight this kind of dumping causes to lives and communities.
“We’ll be continuing with a ‘zero tolerance’ stance and there’ll be more prosecutions to come.
“It’s not Oldham Council that dumps this waste, but it does fall to us to clean it up – and at a cost of almost £1m a year to you, the local taxpayer.”
Saddleworth’s last tip – the controversial High Moor site – closed for waste disposal in January 2014.
Oldham Council’s three weekly bin collection scheme didn’t meet with universal approval.
However, Councillor Stretton said: “The changes were designed to cut the amount of waste sent to landfill and to promote more recycling.
“The first comparable set of data shows that our household recycling rate has gone up significantly.
“Comparing the third quarter of 2016 with the same period in 2015 we can see that the amount of household waste being recycled has gone up from 36.8 per cent to 43.6 per cent.
“The public response to the changes – ordering extra blue, brown and green bins, for example – shows you’ve been recycling more and doing it smarter.
“The costs to us of disposing of grey bin waste is hundreds of pounds per tonne, whereas we actually get a small income for each tonne that we recycle.
“We’ve had more than 1,700 applications for extra grey bins, compared with the 300 we would usually get.
“Where households can demonstrate a genuine need for an additional bin for waste that cannot be recycled, we will provide an additional bin.”