SPY cameras will be used to catch fly-tippers and vandals at recycling sites in Torfaen.

Council-run recycling areas have been inundated with tonnes of waste including television sets, beds, mattresses and vacuum cleaners dumped illegally.

Cardboard recycling facilities at Cwmbran Stadium and Fairwater were withdrawn earlier this year because of vandalism at the sites.

Now three hidden cameras are being brought in to catch those responsible and used at various sites.

Council enforcement officer Paul Johnson said: "We are prepared to use these cameras wherever problems persist."

The council say recycling banks have only recently become fly-tipping hotspots but the problem has become so bad they've needed to bring in hidden cameras.

Recycling banks are located at various locations in Torfaen including Cwmbran Stadium, Abersychan Car Park and Prince Street car park in Blaenavon.

Materials that can be recycled at the sites vary but they include glass, plastic bottles, newspapers, tins and cans and Tetrapak drinks cartons.

Anyone caught fly-tipping could face a prison sentence or a fine.

So far in 2008, 67 investigations have taken place resulting in five £75 fixed-penalty notices being handed out.

Torfaen council has the highest percentage of recycled waste in South Wales, at 42 per cent.

The maximum fine for domestic fly tipping is £5,000. Anyone caught dumping commercial waste could be fined up to £50,000 or face a maximum five year prison sentence.

Newport council, which has also brought in hidden cameras to catch fly-tippers, launched two 'rapid response' teams to combat fly tipping in 2007 and since then have collected almost 300 tonnes of illegally dumped waste, 180 tonnes of this has since been recycled.

In the past year 22 offences were identified by council officials monitoring CCTV and legal action is ongoing against 14 individuals, businesses.

Recycling and refuse wardens have handed out 383 warning letters, and five fixed penalty notices since September 2007.

Caerphilly council operates a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to those dumping waste illegally and prosecute offenders whenever possible.

In the past 12 months the council has successfully brought four prosecutions resulting in fines ranging from £400 to £600.

In Blaenau Gwent two enforcement officers monitor CCTV to track fly-tippers. And four people have been prosecuted since April.

A council spokeswoman said the authority had the lowest rate of fly-tipping in Wales.