HUGE piles of rubbish have been dumped less than a mile away from Swindon’s recycling centre.

The junk including bricks, a sofa, a suitcase, a chest of drawers and other mess has been left to attract flies behind houses on Iffley Road for more than two weeks.

A neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said people dumped their junk there before and suggested that the waste centre’s busy booking system may be partly to blame.

She said: “This keeps happening.

“It’s dreadful, and the council has had to clear up that area a couple of times before. It’s awful that people just find a space and drop their rubbish wherever they want.

“We try to keep it tidy around here but this eyesore is attracting rats.

“Apparently it’s not always easy to get through to to book a slot for the tip. Swindon is a big place and even before the pandemic, the tip was closed for one day a week, and now it’s even busier, so it might make more people fly-tip.”

Labour Coun Jim Grant agreed that impatience with the household waste recycling centre’s booking system may be prompting people to chuck their rubbish anywhere else instead.

He said: “My worry is that the way we are allocating slots to the tip at this time will lead to an increase in this sort of fly-tipping across Swindon. This is happening in a road that is not 500 yards from the tip and I imagine this is happening all over Swindon.

“Lockdown has given people the opportunity to clear out their houses of unwanted items but if they have to wait, over two months in some cases, for a slot at the tip then there is the temptation to dispose of those items at a site like this.

“Fly-tipping is not only illegal, it is a blight the lives of residents affected by it, like the people of Iffley Road. And it is bad for public health and the environment. The council needs to think harder about how it combats the problem.

“It doesn’t help that even though I raised this matter with the council on behalf of neighbours several days ago, the rubbish has still not been cleared. Swindon deserves better than this.”

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “Our street cleansing team are currently investigating this incident of fly-tipping.

“We would like to remind residents that fly-tipping is illegal and is not acceptable under any circumstances.

“If a resident has waste they need to dispose of this can be done through our bulky waste collection service, or by pre-booking a slot at the Household Waste Recycling Centre.

“As of August 3, car slots are currently available to book at the HWRC via the council’s website for August 14, 15, 16 and 17 August. Vans or cars with trailers can book a next day appointment.”