Five fridges fly-tipped in Lyth Valley

Last Updated: 10 November 2021

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) is appealing for the public’s help after a cluster of unsightly fridge fly-tipping incidents in the rural Lyth Valley area.

In the past four weeks five fridges have been abandoned at the roadside in this picturesque corner of the Lake District National Park, famed for its damson orchards and unspoilt scenery.

SLDC Street Scene staff discovered three fridges beside a litter bin in a well-used lay-by on the A5074 Lyth Valley Road between Gilpin Bridge and Crosthwaite last week.

Two other fridges have also been fly-tipped in the past month on separate occasions on the road from Crosthwaite to Bowland Bridge.

SLDC’s Locality Team has launched an investigation and is appealing for members of the public to contact them if they have any information about these waste crimes or if they witnessed any unusual activity in the area.

Locality Officer John Barwise said it was “highly unusual” for such a cluster of fridges to be fly-tipped in the same geographical area. Fridges are classed as hazardous waste and Mr Barwise said the incidents could be the work of a rogue waste carrier without a licence.

“We strongly suspect that these incidents are connected,” he said. “I can’t remember the last time we had a fridge dumped in that area and this is five in the last four weeks or so.

“It’s possibly someone collecting old fridges for a price and charging people £20 or £30, for example, then just dumping them and expecting us to pick them up and deal with them. Waste carriers can’t get rid of them properly for that kind of money because they have to be de-gassed. It’s likely that someone is doing this to make a bit of money.”

Cllr Philip Dixon, SLDC portfolio holder for Customer and Locality Services, said: “Fly-tipping is a serious criminal offence and is not a victimless crime. As well as the cost to the environment, the financial cost of clearance, disposal and investigation is ultimately borne by the Council Tax payers of the district.

“We investigate every case of fly-tipping reported and, if appropriate, action will be taken. This can range from fixed penalty notices and warning letters being issued to prosecutions, potentially significant fines and even custodial sentences.”

Householders may not realise they have a legal duty of care to ensure that waste is only removed from their property by registered carriers. If you knowingly use an unlicensed waste carrier you could be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000, while the carrier could face a fine of up to £50,000 and up to five years in prison.

Residents can dispose of white goods such as fridges free of charge by taking them to CCC’s Household Waste Recycling Centres or by using SLDC’s bulky waste collection service, which charges £31 for up to three items, call 01539 733 333 to arrange.

If you can help SLDC’s investigation into these incidents, please: