By Sam Rkaina, Local Government Reporter
Residents are calling for something to be done about fly-tipping on an “urban oasis” in south Bristol.
The Northern Slopes includes a number of large areas of open space described as the south of the city’s answer to The Downs in Clifton.
People use the land for everything from walking their dogs to picking blackberries and enjoying sweeping views across the city.
But as these pictures show, not everyone is so appreciative of the green landscape. Residents say fly-tipping has been going on for 10 years, despite attempts to solve the problem.
Rubbish ranges from large pieces of masonry to what appear to be used syringes. Fly-tipping like this costs Bristol tax payers £250,000 every year to clean up.
One man is concerned that Bristol City Council’s move to smaller bins next year may add to the problem.
Steve Richardson says that as well as the concrete blocks and building materials pictured, other household rubbish is dumped on the land between Bedminster and Knowle.
He said: “It’s being dumped everywhere. Food waste, doors, carpets, builders’ bric-a-brac, the lot. If you go to smaller bins it will be a bigger problem.”
The council confirmed that it would be replacing the city’s existing 240-litre bins with 180-litre bins between January and June next year.
An extra recycling box for plastics will be added to offset the loss.
But domestic bin size will not prevent fly tipping of large-scale waste, so the council wants people to be more responsible and use the tips provided for this purpose, including the site at Days Road in St Philip’s.
The problem is, there is currently no Household Waste Recycling Centre in south Bristol, although the council wants to develop one.
Kingswear Road is a particular target for fly-tippers but the Northern Slopes includes several other areas, Novers Common, Glyn Vale and Wedmore Vale.
The Northern Slopes Initiative was a group set up by residents to maintain, conserve and enhance their local open space.
Originally set up to protect the areas from housing development, the group has expanded its work to help keep the slopes clean, carrying out regular litter picks.
NSI member Mil Lusk said: “It’s a very big area but it’s a forgotten area. Fly-tipping has been going on for 10 years or more.
“It used to be cars, now it’s household tiles, concrete bags and you get mattresses.
“We’ve been working with the council to get it cleaned up. We have had some success but because it’s forgotten the council doesn’t patrol it or come out as quickly as it should.
“We’re trying to raise the whole profile of Kingswear as it’s a key connection.”
Council spokeswoman Catherine Frankpitt said: “We are aware of the ongoing problems with fly-tipping on the Northern Slopes.
“Our parks team and waste enforcement officers regularly visit the area to deal with the waste, speak to local residents and try to identify the culprits doing the fly-tipping.
“There is absolutely no excuse for anyone to fly-tip their rubbish in Bristol.
“We remain one of the few councils in the region that still operates free household waste recycling centres – in St Philip’s and Avonmouth – open seven days a week for residents.
“We also have a bulky waste collection service, which residents can use to get rid of furniture and other bulky items that they are unable to deal with themselves.
“When May Gurney introduce their new recycling services next year, there should be no more reason than there is now for fly-tipping.”
Fly-tipping can be reported on 0117 922 2100.