Purfleet fly-tip clean-up bill could cost £700,000

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

An operation to clean up a "mile-long" fly-tipping site in Essex could cost up to £700,000 to clear and result in 11 prosecutions, a council has said.

Land at Cory's Wharf in Purfleet was used to dump builders' rubble, wood and medical waste late last year.

Thurrock Council said it had interviewed individuals and a business over the fly-tipping.

It said it had "started work on the legal process necessary to bring 11 or more prosecutions".

The local authority said it would be contacting further interviewees, some of whom had been away on holiday.

"Other interviewees have provided information towards those who may have actually illegally dumped the rubbish and those leads are also being followed up," a council spokesman said.

Council staff sifted through the rubbish to remove any hazardous or toxic material. They found paperwork with people's names and addresses on, whom they contacted.

Unused medicine, including insulin, was also found in the piles of rubbish.

Thurrock Council said there had been three "illegal incursions" by travellers on land at Cory's Wharf, but due to problems with evicting the groups, the local authority had been unable to clear the site and secure it for more than two weeks, "leading to the build-up of rubbish".

"We are currently talking with a contractor who will tidy up the site, removing any items which could prove an invitation to vandals, while bulldozing and compacting the inert waste that remains before the site is developed," the council's spokesman said.

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