THE closure of Blackrod tip is being blamed for an increase in flytipping in the area.

Town hall chiefs admit that more rubbish is being dumped in the area — and say they will take action against anyone found flytipping.

Recently, part of the village had to be cordoned off and businesses evacuated after a fire broke out on wasteland off Station Road which involved a potentially explosive acetylene cylinder.

Crews were on the scene for more than four hours.

Last week a sofa dumped at the back of Chorley New Road was set alight in what is being treated as an arson attack.

The fire service said it had noticed an increase in flytipping since the closure of the tip and was working with the council.

Marc Anderson, watch manager at Horwich Fire Station, said: “Since Blackrod tip closed, we are noticing an increase in flytipping and that area has become particularly popular.

“We’re assuming that the fire was started deliberately because of the flytipping.”

Blackrod waste recycling facility closed on October 6 and Blackrod town councillor Graham Farrington, who helped set up the original facility, described the move as “disastrous” for the area.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “There has been a slight increase in flytipping in Blackrod in recent months, both in back street waste and also in dumping of domestic waste at sites.

“We take the issue of fly-tipping in Bolton very seriously and aim to reduce flytipping through good quality education and robust enforcement.”

Blackrod tip was shut with the opening of a new waste recycling super site in Salford Road, Over Hulton, which opened the day after.

The decision to close the tip was made as part of an “efficiency strategy” to ensure all sites were “fit for purpose”.

Greater Manchester Waste Disposal leaders said that the new site included a modern, convenient layout, a comprehensive service accepting up to 23 types of materials, and better traffic management.

Cllr Farrington said: “This is what we predicted was going to happen with the closure of the depot.

“This is what used to happen before we brought in the skips and then set up the depot.

“Some people don’t have transport to go to the tip and with the Blackrod depot, people could use a wheelbarrow to take their rubbish there.”