‘Stop dumping in our canals’ is the clear message sent out by Lancashire magistrates who have fined a Blackburn resident £345 for discarding garden waste on a steep bank of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
The prosecution was brought by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council on behalf of the Canal & River Trust. 708 acts of fly-tipping were recorded on the nation’s canal network in the 13 months between January 2013 and January 2014, costing us nearly £300,000 a year.
Karen Jackson, a senior environmental scientist for the Trust, said: “The key message to the public is - value your wonderful local waterway, don’t use it as a dumping ground for rubbish, even garden waste.
“All fly-tipping is a potential hazard. It can block the waterway, damaging boats and leading to flooding. It can be harmful to wild birds, animals and aquatic life and at the very least it looks unsightly and detracts from the enjoyment of walkers, cyclists and boaters. Garden waste in particular can spread invasive plants which threaten native species.
“Fly-tipping understandably generates lots of customer complaints and costs a considerable amount in both money and staff time which should be spent on vital maintenance and improvement works instead. We very much appreciate the Council’s support in working with us to protect the canal as a clean and safe environment for everyone to enjoy.”
Councillor Jim Smith commented after the successful prosecution: “Dumping rubbish is selfish and has very serious impacts for us all. Not only does the cost of removal mean we have less money to pay for essential council services that people rely on such as schools, elderly care and bin collections, but dumped rubbish attracts rats and encourages vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
“The Council has a good working relationship with the Canal & River Trust along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in Blackburn and we want to work with land owners to keep their land free of dumped rubbish”.