WORRIED parents waited a week for the removal of potentially harmful waste dumped near their homes.
Building material believed to contain asbestos was fly-tipped on a track leading to garages belonging to people in West End Road, Ruislip, on Wednesday last week.
A builder who lives in the street spotted the evidence of the potentially toxic material – after passing cars had already begun to disturb the waste.
Nervous parents, fearing health effects, refused to let their children play in the area.
When material containing asbestos is broken up, the fibres can be inhaled, potentially causing fatal lung disease.
Hillingdon Council officers inspected the waste and ruled it had to be cleared. Then a dispute broke out between the council and residents over whose responsibility that was.
Officers said the affected garage owners had to clear the flytipping because the road was private. The neighbours claimed this was not the case and refused.
The stand-off lasted until yesterday (Tuesday), when the council told the Gazette its waste team would get rid of the material.
Carina Beagley was one of two homeowners who were told they must clear up the waste.
“With something as hazardous as this, you would think they would do something about it quick,” she said. “We shouldn’t have to move it.
“It’s a publicly accessible road which cars drive through and children often play out there. I’m so furious.”
As the Gazette went to press, it appeared her concerns had been heeded, and the waste had been removed by the council.
Nigel Dicker, the council’s deputy director of public safety and environment, said: “Following a request from a concerned resident, officers inspected the fly tip.
“After consideration, it was decided that, given the circumstances for this particular case, the best approach would be to have the waste removed and disposed of by the council’s waste service.
“Hillingdon Council takes the crime of fly-tipping very seriously and will pursue those responsible when there is sufficient evidence to identify them.”
Mrs Beagley, who saw a white van driving off after the waste was dumped, did not hold out much hope of the fly-tippers being caught, but was happy with the result.
“I’m so pleased that they have got rid of it,” he said. “This is the first time in eight years something has been fly-tipped at this end of the road.
“You’d think because it doesn’t happen often, and because kids play there all the time, they would have got rid of it straight away.”
l Got a fly-tipping nightmare? Call the newsdesk on 01895 451 036.