'This is not litter, this is from refurbishments and clear outs': Entire van loads of rubbish emptied into Walsall canal

  • Report by Mark Gough


The Canal and River Trust say that fly-tipping in the region's canals is getting worse.

Those responsible for clearing up other people's mess say they are now using special boats to get to hard-to-reach parts of the canal network, where people have been dumping their waste.

It's costing thousands of pounds to bring in contractors to move the waste, so they rely on the help of volunteers like Gemma Hessey.

She says keeping on top of the fly-tipping is a constant battle.



The charity say they're taking their boat out up to three times a week on the Walsall canal to collect flytipping.


This is not litter, this is household waste this is coming from someone's where they've got to clear out of a bedroom they've done some refurbishments they're clearing out the garage, this is coming from residents.

Aaron Atwal, Canal and River Trust
Some parts of the canal don't have a towpath or pavement alongside it, so the teams have to use special boats to reach the piles of rubbish. Credit: ITV News Central

The Canal and River Trust have spent almost £30,000 bringing in contractors to help them get to the dumping sites along the canal.

Aaron Atwal from the Trust says, because they are a charity, they can't keep spending this money.



They are telling people to use the waste sites provided by local councils, instead of dumping rubbish in the canals.

"Please take your fridges and freezers and your sofas to the right places.

"The canal is a beautiful place to use, and it's not a fly tip site, so please take it to your local sites where you're supposed to get rid of your rubbish."


Flytipping is a growing problem


When we visited Burdbidge Road in March, we saw at least two mattresses, syringes, bits of old cars and lots of household rubbish. Credit: ITV News Central

  • Councils say data up show they have dealt with nearly one million cases up to March 2020.


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