Huge amounts of asbestos waste which had been dumped on private land have been safely removed and cleared up thanks to a High Peak company.
The hazardous material was fly-tipped last week on land near Charley Lane, Chinley, which is owned by Federal Mogul - forcing the company to step in and clear the site at its own expense.
The fly-tippers have been slammed by High Peak borough councillor Kath Sizeland, whose business is at the bottom of Charley Lane.
She said: “It is disgusting that someone thinks it is acceptable to dump hazardous waste and not dispose of it correctly and put the health of others at risk.
“The area is by the Peak Forest Tramway and very popular with walkers and dogs so to have it out in the open was very dangerous.
“Someone must have seen something as this was a full van load of waste which had been dumped. It had to belong to someone.
“But big thanks to Ferodo for getting it cleared up, at great expense too.”
When materials which contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres can be released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases such as Mesothelioma, Asbestos-related lung cancer and Asbestosis.
After Federal Mogul were informed about the fly-tipping, and because it was suspected the material contained asbestos, the company acted quickly and safely removed the waste.
A spokesperson for Federal Mogul said: “Rather than get into a long, drawn-out discussion about whose job it was to clear it, we just called in contractors to safely remove it as quick as possible for the safety of the community and our employees.”
Councillor Jean Todd, executive councillor for climate change, environment and community safety at High Peak Borough Council, said: “There is no excuse for anyone to dump their waste like this. Fly-tipping is irresponsible, anti-social and expensive to clean up.
“If waste is dumped on public land it is council tax payers who have to foot the bill. If, as in this case, the waste is left on private land the landowner has to pick up the costs.
“We will not stand by and let fly-tipping blight our environment. Wherever possible, we seek to collect evidence from the waste in order to try identify, and ultimately prosecute, those responsible.
“Successful prosecutions can see fly-tippers fined up to £50,000 in a magistrate’s court or face unlimited fines in higher courts as well as community punishment orders or prison sentences of up to five years. Those convicted of fly tipping offences can now be made to pay the costs of enforcement and investigation as well as the clean-up costs.
“I would strongly urge people to dispose of all waste responsibly and encourage anyone who witnesses others fly tipping to report it to us via our website www.highpeak.gov.uk.”