FLYTIPPERS provided an unlikely source of food by dumping loaves and bottles of milk on land in Stalybridge.
And it has emerged it stems from the theft of a delivery van as it dropped goods off at a care home more than two weeks ago.
At least 20 large loaves and as many four pint bottles were left on a private road at the end of Swineshaw Road, near Walkerwood Reservoir, yesterday morning.
All out of date – the milk had a best before of November 17 and the milk November 14 – the rubbish was left lying for hours.
Milk from the Hopewall Farm Foods, based in Poynton, Cheshire, and bread from Hetherton’s in Carlisle, Cumbria, was left to rot in broad daylight.
It is not known who is responsible for the tipping in an area that has seen incidents like that before.
And both companies involved are prepared to pick it up themselves and dispose of it.
A spokesman for Hopewall Farm Foods said: “We were made aware of this situation yesterday.
“On Friday, November 9 at about 7am one of our delivery vans was ‘car jacked’ and stolen from a care home that we deliver to in Stalybridge.
“Fortunately our driver was unharmed but the van in question has so far not been recovered.
“We had a phone call yesterday afternoon to inform us that the stock which was in the van for deliveries at the time of the theft had been dumped in a field, off Brushes Road, Stalybridge.
“We are in the midst of organising picking up the stock and disposing of it.”
Seeing bread and milk lying at the side of the unadopted road, which is essentially a dirt track close to Flaxfield Farm, raised eyebrows among residents living nearby, particularly those living on Swineshaw Road.
And a spokesman for Coultons Bread, which owns Hetherton’s, said: “It is certainly offensive to us that product could have been disposed of in this way.
“It is something we would like to investigate further ourselves.
“Our brands are important to us and we take our social and environmental responsibility seriously, as do our manufacturers.
“None have our vehicles have been stolen, so it’s either our supplier or one of our customers.”
As the land is privately-owned, Tameside Council is unable to remove the litter itself.
However it’s policy states: “If the material is on private land, it is the responsibility of the owner of the land to remove it.
“We will endeavour to assist land owners whenever possible by taking appropriate enforcement action against fly tippers.”