ROTTING piles of household and garden waste have been dumped at the end of a residential street in Southampton more than 75 times in the last six months.

Damaged fridges and freezers, a for sale sign and mouldy mattresses were also among the heap of rubbish left by fly-tippers in a layby on Drummond Drive in St Denys, Southampton.

Dead rats were also found just feet away from the pile of rubbish.

An anonymous resident, from Bitterne Park in Southampton who walks past the site more than four times a week has reported 60 incidents on a street action website.

He said: “It’s quite a sight, every time I walk to Portswood to do my shopping, I cannot believe that they keep coming back, it’s an environmental health hazard.”

“It’s just dump after dump, what’s concerning that Southampton City Council hasn’t yet caught the culprits.”

Another anonymous resident, from Portswood who also reported incidents on the same site, described the problem as “sickening” saying: “It’s absolutely disgusting, the behaviour of these people is simply revolting, I cannot see how the city council are letting these menaces slip right through their fingers.”

But, now questions have been raised by local councillors calling on the city to act.

Councillor Bob Painton, who represents Swaythling on the city council, said: “Fly-tipping has become worse since the introduction of alternative weekly collections yet there have been no prosecutions.

“If we all took a proactive approach against fly-tipping and litter dropping, the city could soon to start looking clean and tidy instead of its current tired state.”

He added that he is now calling on environmental chiefs to be given new powers to seize and crush vehicles used for fly-tipping and the offenders slapped with £1,000 fines.

Portswood councillor Paul O’Neill added that the problem has become worse since the abolition of weekly bin collections and is having a negative impact on the city.

In response, a spokesperson for Southampton City Council said: “Southampton City Council take the illegal fly tipping of waste very seriously. We respond to reports of fly tipping on public land within 24 hours of the report being made, and if urgent we will try and respond the same day. Our teams also work to proactively clear fly-tipped waste when they encounter it.

“When evidence that might help identify offenders is discovered, this information is passed to our Environmental Health team for assessment. In cases where there is sufficient evidence to secure a prosecution, the appropriate action will be taken against the perpetrators. This may include the issue of a Fixed Penalty Notice as an alternative to prosecution, but each case is judged on its merits.

“There is an active investigation underway regarding the waste being tipped at Drummond Drive and we are currently gathering evidence to support a prosecution.”

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrates’ Court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment if convicted in a Crown Court.

Earlier this year one of the area’s most troublesome fly-tippers, Ashley Mooney was jailed for 12 months after continuously fly tipping for over three months in various locations across Hampshire including Fareham, Winchester and Gosport.