Essex

Purfleet fly-tip clean-up bill estimated at £100,000

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Media captionA drone-camera was used to show the extent of the rubbish

The cost of a clean-up operation on a mile-long fly-tipping site in Essex is likely to be up to £100,000.

Thurrock Council said workers had begun removing dangerous material and items for recycling at Purfleet.

A spokesman for the authority said it expected to take action against at least 11 people, organisations or firms.

Other materials at the site would be tidied but will remain there until the area is developed, the council said.

Ten people and a business were sent letters asking them to attend an interview under caution in connection with the fly-tipping trail at Cory's Wharf, the authority said.

Some interviews had already been carried out under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE).

Image caption Council staff sifted through the rubbish to remove any hazardous or toxic material

A spokesman said: "Thurrock Council is following up with those who have yet to answer the letters and will probably be starting prosecutions.

"Other materials such as earth and builders' rubble is likely to be tidied and remain on site until the area is developed. The cost of this operation will be less than £100,000."

Initial estimates put the costs much higher, at between £200,000 and £700,000.

Image caption Council staff found paperwork with people's names and addresses on

The council was unable to estimate the cost of legal proceedings at this stage.

The full extent of the mile-long fly-tipping site was revealed in November 2014 by aerial drone footage and was described as a "real blight on the area".

Unused medicine, sofas, mattresses, building materials and household waste were dumped there over several months.

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