Clean-up of 300 tonnes of waste dumped by fly-tippers set to begin in Madeley Heath

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The clean-up operation of over 300 tonnes of waste dumped by fly-tippers is set to begin in Madeley Heath.

The waste in Gladings Wood included shredded paper and used bandages, and the costs of clearing it up is expected go into tens of thousands of pounds.

The waste was dumped overnight at the natural beauty spot just west of Newcastle-under-Lyme on January 29 and the path is not expected to be open again until Easter.

It included confidential paperwork from the NHS and stretches on for a quarter of a mile, after fly-tippers broke through a gate, and knocked down trees.

The waste was discovered the next day by shocked walkers.

The clean-up will begin once the waste has been sampled, starting next week, to check that it isn’t dangerous and it will be co-ordinated by Staffordshire County Council, with Newcastle Borough Council and the Forestry Commission.

Staffordshire County Council’s environment leader Gill Heath said: “Madeley Heath is a wonderful location for walkers and this gross criminal act has the potential to cause serious environmental harm.

“We can assure people that we will be looking to prosecute and press for severe penalties.”

Alan Dowell, forester at the Forestry Commission said: “We were shocked and appalled by this horrendous fly-tipping so we’re pleased to be supporting the joint clean-up operation.

“Sadly people cannot enjoy a visit to the wood until it is cleared away and this selfish act will have significant clean-up costs.”

Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council Elizabeth Shenton said: “Waste crime puts people and the environment at risk and clearing illegal waste sites costs landowners and agencies money which could be better spent elsewhere.

“At the end of the day, it is local tax-payers who end up footing the bill.”

A police investigation with the Environment Agency is ongoing.

People with any information can contact Crimestoppers on: 0800 555 111

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