A HOST of organisations have joined forces to tackle fly-tipping in Wrexham and clean up the town.

About 50 representatives from the local authority and voluntary organisations have been visiting fly-tipping hotspots in Offa Ward and Caia Park, Wrexham Industrial Estate and the town centre this week.

Steve Parkinson, Fly-tipping Action Wales co-ordinator for North Wales, said the aim was not just to clean up but to raise awareness with both householders and businesses.

He gathered with other representatives at the back of shops on Lord Street where boxes and bags of clothes were strewn about near the bins behind Oxfam.

“This is what we’re talking about,” he said, ”People drop off donations at the wrong time, when the charity shop is shut, and then homeless people go through them and it becomes a real problem. It is fly-tipping really. If someone came along at night and set fire to that, you’d potentially lose your business.

“Here in town we’re making sure people don’t let this happen by securing their waste and know how to dispose of it appropriately,” he added.

Teams, including workers from Wrexham Council, the Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham, Caia Park Communities First, Keep Wales Tidy, Nacro (a charity which helps ex-offenders back to work) and North Wales Probation Trust have also been visiting residential areas with skips to help dispose of rubbish.

“The big problem is that people don’t know how to get rid of it,” said Mr Parkinson.

“We filled two large skips in Caia Park, and that wasn’t even half of what came out.

“We’re trying to make it easier for people to get rid of waste and to raise their awareness of what happens if waste is given to unlawful and unscrupulous people.

“You get people touting for scrap  and then strip what’s valuable and fly-tip the rest.

“People don’t realise that as a householder you are responsible – you have a duty of care for your household waste that starts with who you choose to give it to, and it’s your door the Environment Agency will be knocking on.”

To end the week Fly-tipping Action Wales partners will visit business owners on Wrexham Industrial Estate to offer free advice on ways of getting rid of commercial waste legally and safely.

Environment Agency Wales will also carry out pollution prevention checks on items such as the safe storage of waste, a check of site drainage and emergency plans to deal with pollution problems.

In 2009-2010, 3,279 cases of fly-tipping occurred in Wrexham, while 48,000 cases were reported across Wales, leading to almost £3 million clean-up costs for taxpayers.

“Cleaner areas mean people have a greater regard for them,” Mr Parkinson added.

“Dog fouling, graffiti, litter and fly-tipping are the biggest things people notice.

Tackle this and it improves the area, the difference is amazing.”