Only one court prosecution has been recorded for fly-tipping in Sandwell over the last three years.

According to a Freedom of Information request submitted to Sandwell council, a total of 31,761 fly-tipping incidents were recorded in the region between 2018 – present.

Out of these fly-tipping incidents, 162 fines were issued, and 137 were paid.

In 2020 and 2021 the fines issued include both fly-tipping and householder’s duty of care. A total of 25 fines remain outstanding.

The fly-tipping prosecution was recorded in 2018.

Cllr David Fisher, who represents Charlemont with Grove Vale ward, and is leader of the opposition, said residents are “sick and tired” of the number of fly-tipping incidents seen in the area.

He said: “Over the past few years, in particular along Wigmore Lane, I seem to be reporting fly-tipping on a weekly basis.

“I care deeply about my community in Charlemont with Grove Vale and hate seeing our neighbourhoods blighted by inconsiderate folk who dump their waste anywhere they like.

“It’s a disgrace that only one prosecution has been made in the last three years when you consider how many instances have been reported to the council during this time.”

According to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) guidance on household waste duty of care, a fixed penalty notice for breaches of household waste duty of care provides an alternative option for local councils to enforce anti fly-tipping, and can be “more proportionate” than prosecution through the courts.

The duty of care requires householders to take “all reasonable measures” available to them in the circumstances to ensure that they only transfer household waste produced on their property to an authorised person.

Cllr Fisher added: “In theory, fly-tipping offenders should receive a £200 penalty fine, however, I still don’t think this goes far enough and a tougher stance is needed from Sandwell council.

“It’s clear that Sandwell has a big problem with fly-tipping, however, extremely little action has been taken against the perpetrators.”

Cllr Fisher has called Sandwell council to cancel the online booking system, first introduced in June last year, required to use the refuse centre, and cut the “red tape” for trade workers who want to access the facility.

Cllr Fisher has also lobbied the council to install CCTV cameras to catch fly-tippers who dump their rubbish in Wigmore Lane.

He argues the council has said the location “isn’t suitable” and says his request has been “refused”.

He added: “I find absolutely ridiculous. This is while the council tax payer continues to pay for cleaning up the mess. Money which could be better spent on other things in our community.”

Cllr Ahmad Bostan, cabinet member for environment, said: “Our officers regularly patrol Wigmore Lane as a fly-tipping hotspot and we will continue to monitor the area closely and take enforcement action wherever we can.

 “Fly-tipping is a disgrace and we are appalled that people irresponsibly dump rubbish like this without any thought for the environment and the local community.

 “We investigate all fly-tipping and take enforcement action where there is evidence.

 “We also deploy mobile CCTV cameras to monitor fly-tipping ‘hot spots’ and they also act as a deterrent.

 “I would appeal to everyone to be our ‘eyes and ears’ in the community as we really need evidence of who’s dumping rubbish at what time, what vehicles they are using and any other useful information.

 “We are also now issuing £400 fines to householders who don’t use licensed waste carriers to take away waste. It is every householder’s responsibility to check they are using a licensed person or company to dispose of waste items. If a waste carrier you are using can’t provide documents to show that they are licensed, or if a fly-tipping incident is linked back to you, you face being fined.

 “We have issued more than 30 £400 fines for fly-tipping and to people not using licensed waste carriers in recent months.

 “Our tip on Shidas Lane, Oldbury, is open seven days a week for those who use our pre-booking system for appointments at the site. At the start of 2021 there were 390 slots available each day for those visiting in cars; now there are 900. And every day throughout this period there has been spare capacity for visits at the site. We also allow people visiting in cars to now make unlimited bookings. Visitors should remember to book their appointments in advance, even for weekend slots.

 “We also offer a bulky waste collection service – so really there’s no excuse for fly-tipping.”