A retired wedding cake maker says people who dump rubbish should be shamed after he and neighbours were threatened with legal action because strangers have flytipped on their land.
Terry Hatfield and nine others who own garages on Leicester Street, East Bowling, Bradford, have received letters from Bradford Council which say they could face fines of up to £2,500 if they do not clear land around the buildings.
Bags of rubble, a soggy duvet and car seats are among the items dumped around the garages, while land behind them, next to the pavement, is littered with bottles, cans and wrappers.
Mr Hatfield spoke to a Council warden about two years ago when rubbish started building up, who had said he would try and find out who was responsible. Since then the problem has got worse and the 67-year-old, who has no transport and back problems, says he will struggle to move the waste.
“And I can’t see any reason why we should have to shift it,” he said.
“It never used to be like this, it used to be tidy.”
Mr Hatfield challenges people he sees littering, but says neighbours are less confident about doing so.
“I think it’s absolutely disgusting. There’s no reason why people can’t put things in the bin or go to the skip, it’s only up the road.”
Mr Hatfield, who has owned his garage for 35 years, believes more needs doing about flytipping in general and is waiting to hear back from ward councillors and MP David Ward this week about the issue.
He said he accepts to a “certain extent” that the responsibility is his as a landowner, but says the situation is hugely unfair. He suggests street bins and warning signs could help deter litterbugs.
“I think they should do something to try and stop people from dumping. It’s not just our problem, this is a problem that’s all over the place. People are just dumping things wherever the feel like it and it’s just not right,” Mr Hatfield said.
Neighbours recently saw someone dumping rubbish, including a large collapsed wooden box, but the man drove away in his white van before they were able to get a registration number.
Environmental Health Manager Carol Morgan said: “It is the responsibility of landowners to keep their own land tidy and to clear any rubbish from it. If they don't, we take action to ensure compliance with the regulations.
“We always investigate flytipping incidents to see if we can identify those who flytip so we can prosecute them, but obviously we need evidence to identify the perpetrators. Our Council Wardens patrol neighbourhoods, but we would urge local people to be vigilant and record times and dates and any registration vehicle plates of anyone seen to be dumping rubbish and report incidents to us on (01274) 434366.
“Whether we can or can't identify the culprits, we still require people to keep their own land clean and tidy”