KEIGHLEY councillors said fly-tippers have “no excuse”, after new figures showed reports of this crime in Keighley and Bradford had risen dramatically.

Government data shows in the 12 months to the end of March there were 14,317 reports of fly-tipping incidents across Keighley and Bradford – a jump of 17.4 per cent on the previous year.

This places Bradford district second only to Leeds in the region for the number of incidents reported - and above large cities such as Sheffield.

Pictures taken by the Keighley News last Friday (Nov 23) show the extent of the problem at hotspots in and around central Keighley.

And two loads of tyres were dumped at a Haworth beauty spot twice in a week, prompting calls for covert cameras to be installed.

Cllr Cath Bacon, of Keighley West Ward, said householders passing rubbish to cheap waste removals firms must ensure these firms have permits to legally dispose of that waste.

“Of course we’d rather not see fly-tipping at all,” she said. “But if the number of calls is going up that’s good because it means people know where to report it to.

“I hate it when people can’t be bothered to dispose of rubbish properly.

“When I’ve seen fly-tipped items with addresses on, you can see they’ve driven straight past a household waste sites to get to where they’ve dumped it. It doesn’t make sense to me.”

Keighley MP John Grogan said: "Fly-tipping is a significant blight on our environment, a source of pollution, a potential danger to public health and hazard to wildlife.

"It undermines legitimate waste businesses where unscrupulous operators undercut those operating within the law.

"Two thirds of fly-tipping comes from household waste and I support Government proposals to make it an offence – punishable by a fixed penalty notice – for householders passing waste to a fly-tipper.

"Part of the problem is that regulations need enforcing, and after years of cuts there's not enough staff in Bradford responsible for pursuing the fly-tippers."

Cllr Adrian Farley, of Keighley West, said fly-tipping is often down to laziness, or a failure to factor in the cost of disposing of larger items.

He said people spending £300 or £400 on a new sofa should be able to afford the nominal council fee to legally dispose of their old sofa.

“I know of three Bracken Bank residents who clubbed together to have bulky furniture removed – paying £5 each,” he added. “Fly-tipping is a criminal offence and there’s no excuse.”

Last week more than 100 tyres were left on moorland above Haworth. A week on, a fresh load of tyres was dumped at the exact same spot, in a hollow at Penistone Hill Country Park.

Worth Valley councillor Rebecca Poulsen said a resident spotted the first giant pile of tyres at Penistone Hill while walking her dog. “It was an atrocious example of fly-tipping – there were 156 car tyres in total,” she said.

“But I was able to speak to a local farmer who could make use of them to weigh down his silage, and the council transported them to his farm in Oxenhope as a solution.

“We should have a zero tolerance approach to fly-tipping, but this needs to be combined with making it easy for people to recycle and reuse things.”

Speaking after the second pile of tyres was discarded, she said: “It's clearly a tyre business and the council will be looking for evidence when the tyres are removed.

“This is completely unacceptable behaviour and if anyone saw anything please report it.”

She said covert cameras could catch those responsible, and suggested using a rock barrier to prevent vehicles getting close enough to the car park edge to be able to tip waste into the hollow.

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “As the figures show, fly-tipping is a national problem which has been on the rise for many years.

“Each local authority has had to face an increase in this criminal activity which causes damage to the environment and a growing burden on the Council Tax payer in the cost of clearing it up.

“The figures show the number of reported fly-tips per 1,000 head of population in Bradford is 26.8, similar to other local authorities in Yorkshire.

“Because of multiple reporting, the number of actual incidents of fly-tipping may be lower than figures suggest.

“Bradford Council employs a range of measures to tackle fly-tipping including CCTV to catch the culprits and seizing vehicles known to be involved.

“Since April 2016, there have been 74 prosecutions, including formal cautions, for waste offences, including fly-tipping. The council has also issued 56 Fixed Penalty Notices of £400 for fly-tipping offences and seized three vans.”

The council said it was aware of the tyres fly-tipped at Penistone Hill, adding it would clean up the second load of tyres as quickly as possible.