RESIDENTS are being urged to take matters into their own hands to stop dumped rubbish blighting streets.

Dave Sperring, councillor responsible for environment in the Rochford, spoke out after more than 600 incidents of flytipping were cleared from the district in the 2015/16 financial year. The majority DIY and house clearance waste.

Legally, householders must take reasonable precautions to ensure that unscrupulous builders don’t dump their waste.

Mr Sperring said: “It is truly disgusting that people would choose to dump their waste in our streets, as it looks so unsightly and in some cases could even pose a health risk.

“I’m calling on all residents to be vigilant, if you’re having some building work done please check the credentials of the workmen to ensure they are following the proper procedures.

“I’m sure the last thing you would want is to see your waste dumped in your street, local park, or at the road-side.”

The council suggest asking builders or handymen what exactly is going to happen to rubbish and seek evidence that it is going to be disposed of appropriately.

Householders should ensure that all their waste is disposed of via their wheeled bins, recycling banks around the district, the tips or the council’s chargeable bulky waste collection.

The stark warning comes as other authorities also battle the issue of flytipping.

Southend Council warned residents after a successful prosecution against a landlord who flytipped two mattresses and was been fined nearly £2,000 - when they could have been collected for just £12.50.

Elsewhere in the Rochford district, there have been large cases of flytipping.

At the end of last year, a 6ft high pile of rubbish was dumped in Old London Road, Rawreth.

The rubbish, which was close to a bridal path and football pitches, had started to smell and residents were concerned as it was polluting the countryside.

Flytipping is a serious criminal offence for which you can be prosecuted. The courts have various powers available to them to tackle flytipping, including imprisonment, substantial fines of up to £50,000, orders to pay costs and an order to deprive rights to a vehicle used to commit the offence.

Anyone with information on flytipping can contact the 24-hour Environment Agency hotline on 0800 807060 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.