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Otley rubbish tip ban ‘defies logic’ as fly-tipping increases

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Menston residents face petrol-guzzling round trip to dump their rubbish

A council’s decision to ban people from Menston from using the public waste and recycling centre at Otley has been described as “crazy” by a national company, while residents think of ways to dodge the new ruling.

The Ilkley-based company says that Menston residents now face a round trip of up to 30 miles after the council in Leeds decided to bar access to the Otley facility for people who live in areas controlled by Bradford Council.

Business Waste says that Leeds’ insistence on enforcing the ban means that Menston locals now have to travel to Ilkley or Bradford to dispose of their household waste, despite only living a couple of miles from the Otley facility.

“It’s a decision that defies logic,” says spokesperson Mark Hall, “The whole point of local recycling facilities is to save resources, but think of all the extra petrol that’s being burned in the name of a line on a map.”

Hall points out that with more than three quarters of a million people living in the Leeds Municipal District, it surely shouldn’t make much of a difference whether Menston’s less than 5,000 residents have access to the Otley tip or not.

“I’m certain that the two councils can reach a deal where residents in outlying districts can use facilities ‘across the border’,” says Hall, “It’ll save time, money and reduce the risk of fly-tipping.”

In fact, the spectre of fly-tipping – the illegal dumping of rubbish at the roadside, in fields or at beauty spots – was raised when went to Menston and spoke to local residents.

• One person, who declined to give his name, told us: “I’ve been taking my rubbish to Otley for twenty years. This week I found my Menston pass was no good, so I just dumped my garden rubbish at the gates and drove off.”

It’s an issue that’s generated anger and debate on Ilkley Facebook pages and social media, and it appears that our anonymous Menston resident isn’t the only person resorting to dumping their waste illegally.

“Every incidence of fly-tipping costs councils hundreds of pounds, especially if hazardous materials are involved,” Hall says. “Local authorities should be working together to help stamp it out, not making illegal dumping more likely.” was hard pushed to find anybody in the Menston area who supported the move by Leeds to bar local access to the Otley tip. Among local views, we were told:

• “It’s a 15 mile round trip to Ilkley, 30 miles to Bradford. That’s a couple of hours out of my day and petrol money out of my pocket. Madness.”

• “We’re a small village. It’s not as if we’re going to drown Otley tip with our garden waste, is it?”

Another resident said that people were finding ways to defy the ban:

• “I found a Leeds resident pass at my great aunt’s house, and she’s got no need for it – problem solved. And I’m not the only person borrowing a pass, I’ve been told.” ‘s Mark Hall says that Leeds Council is shooting itself in the foot with their ‘illogical’ ban on Menston residents.

“There’s money in waste and recycling these days – big money – and Leeds are happily turning away customers.

“We’re supposed to be doing everything we can to increase recycling rates, but Leeds are sending the wrong message to local people and businesses,” says Hall.

“It’s a giant step backwards.”

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