SICK fly-tippers who dumped rubbish in Greenock Cemetery have been condemned for showing 'no respect' to grieving families.

Residents living nearby hit out at the mess after van-loads of waste - including piles of flooring, clothing, a mattress and general waste - were found abandoned within the grounds.

Council bosses today slammed those responsible as they face yet another costly clean-up operation.

In recent months there has been a spate of fly-tipping across Inverclyde.

One angry local resident said: "It is disgraceful to dump rubbish anywhere, but to do it in a cemetery, of all places, is a disgrace.

"Have they no respect at all?

"It is time to do something about this problem, it is getting worse."

The rubbish was left lying at the Bow Farm end of the cemetery, near a service area of the grounds.

The Tele alerted Inverclyde Council after the alarm was raised by a local resident.

A council spokesman said: "Fly-tipping is completely unacceptable, irresponsible and anti-social.

"To do so in a cemetery is also disrespectful to the dead and grieving families.

“We will always pursue the harshest punishment possible for anyone caught fly-tipping.

“It is also worth remembering that householders can be fined for rubbish from their homes or gardens that is illegally dumped by tradespeople they hire.

“The scourge of fly-tipping has blighted our community for far too long.

"To tackle it we need the help of residents to catch those responsible to serve justice and to help put a stop to this problem.

“We all have a public duty to tackle the small minority of people who are determined to illegally dump rubbish in our communities despite the easy availability of two recycling centres at Pottery Street in Greenock and Kirn Drive in Gourock, as well as the council’s bulk uplifts service."

In recent weeks the Tele has reported on fly-tipping at so-called hotspots such as Kilcreggan View in Greenock and Sunnyside in Port Glasgow.

Last year the council issued 29 fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping, with culprits forced to pay £200.

Extreme cases can end up in court, with fines of up to £40,000 available to sheriffs and/or a 12-month prison sentence.

*Fly-tipping can be reported to the Dumb Dumpers helpline on 0845 2 30 40 90 or through the Inverclyde Council customer service centre on 01475 717171.