Asbestos fly-tipping levels have doubled in the past nine months costing over £10,000 according to Northumberland County Council.

The local authority has urged residents and businesses to dispose of potentially harmful asbestos properly.

The toxic material has been illegally dumped in every corner of the county appearing in locations from Berwick to Alnwick and Bedlington to Hexham.

Most of the asbestos is the old corrugated sheet type - which was widely used across the county in the old colliery row houses and in farms and commercial premises.

Since then, properties have been modernised and the asbestos removed. The authority suggest waste contractors have been fly-tipping it to save costs.

We are concerned illegal asbestos collectors are operating in the area and urge residents to report any suspicious behaviour to the council as investigations are under way.

Councillor Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services