More than £1m has been forked out by taxpayers to clean up the Hunter’s Tip mess, it has been revealed.
Kirklees Council’s accounts show it paid out £1.1m to deal with “environmental contamination” of the fire ravaged site at Lockwood.
The overflowing tip at Queens Mill Road went up in flames on August 17 last year.
It took several days to extinguish and firefighters were still damping down the site as recently as last March.
The council and the Environment Agency were tasked with removing 8,000 tonnes of abandoned toxic waste.
The overall cost for that nine-month-long project, which finished in May, may never be known .
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has already told the Examiner it will not be able to recoup a single penny for the 900 hours that officers spent on the site.
A WYFRS spokesperson said: “We simply do not have any legal power to impose or recover costs and charges for putting fires out.”
But on Tuesday evening it was revealed that council taxpayers in Kirklees had been left with a £1.1m bill for clearing the site – approximately £6.34 per household.
It is not yet known if there is more expense to come.
Kirklees Council is thought to be considering legal action to try and get some of the money back.
Speaking at a meeting of the full council, leader, Clr David Sheard, hinted that lawyers thought it would be a struggle to get anything out of the former operator of the waste site, Sam Hunter.
“I’m not optimistic we will get much back,” he told councillors.
“You can never predict things like the Hunter’s tip disaster.
“Calderdale had to deal with the floods.
“We’ve had this, that’s the type of thing that councils have to pick up.”
But Green party leader, Clr Andrew Cooper, said the man accused of being the cause of the huge environmental disaster should be aggressively pursued through the courts.
And he has also urged the Environment Agency to bear some of the cost, claiming it is responsible for monitoring waste site operations.
“Sam Hunter owes Kirklees Council and its taxpayers an awful lot of money,” he claimed.
“We’ve got to pursue him as much as we can and extract as many of his assets as possible.
“We should seek a prosecution for the mess he’s put people through.
“In my opinion he deserves a jail sentence.”
He added: “The cost has been high because all the waste had to go to landfill.
“It was highly contaminated and had to be hosed down and that comes at a cost.
“The costs have been borne by the council so far, but it’s fair for to us to explore if the Environment Agency should pay some of it.
“The responsibility for people breaking the law lies with them.”