It has cost Network Rail more than £40,000 to clear 25 lorry loads of semi-processed household rubbish dumped on land it owns in Telford last year, ravaged by fly-tipping.
A team of seven workers has started to clear through the mountains of waste off the A4169 near Horsehay in Telford. The dozens of piles contains clothes, food packaging, toys and even family photographs.
The waste was dumped on the site in December. Investigations into where it has come from are ongoing – and now after nearly four months Network Rail has finally been given the go ahead to begin clearing it.
Now heavier following months of wet weather, the team started clearing the mess while a lorry took it to Halesfield tip. They suspect the fly-tippers used a bigger, trash compacting lorry to leave it behind.
As the temperatures started to hit double figures, steam rose from the rubbish, increasing the stench.
The fly-tippers broke a lock to get onto the land and could have been dumping rubbish over a single or couple of nights.
Alan Edge, maintenance production co-ordinator for Network Rail, works on keeping the railway tidy throughout the West Midlands. He said this was the worst case of fly-tipping he had ever seen.
“What we’re dealing with here is isn’t the normal stuff we’d find – this is industrial scale, organised crime kind of stuff,” he said.
“They knew it was a quiet area and that nobody could see up here – that’s why they picked this spot.
“We had it dumped on the railway line in December. There’s approximately 250 tonnes of it, which we think is about 25 lorry loads.
“This is going to cost approximately £40,000 to clear. It’ll take seven or more men around three days to get get rid of it all.
“This is a blot on the landscape. Shropshire is a beautiful part of the world. We’re close to a world heritage site in Ironbridge – people don’t want to see this.
“We’d rather be taking this £40,000 and then investing that money into something elsewhere.”
Alan is called to clear fly-tipping all over the region, but he said he couldn’t believe the sheer scale of rubbish on the track here.
It stretches along the line for nearly 200 metres, much of it in neat, square piles where it has been dumped directly from lorries.
“We deal with fly-tipping all the time, but never on this scale,” he said.
“We normally deal with low level stuff – people chucking stuff over a bridge or over their back garden. It tends to be fridges, tyres, that kind of thing.”
Article originally published on www.shropshirestar.com on 3rd April 2017.