Farmers are picking up the bill as steep increases in tipping charges and reduced opening hours at West civic amenity sites prompts more people to dump their rubbish in the countryside.
Rural affairs specialists Bruton Knowles have taken up the cudgels on behalf of hard pressed farmers across the region who have had to pay out to have other people’s trash removed from their land.
Ben Compton from the firm’s Gloucester office said: “The cost of cleaning up after the fly tippers has doubled. It’s clear tougher action is needed to persuade trades people and members of the public to dispose of their waste at their local civic amenity site rather than on country lanes and farmland.”
Ben said rising incidents of fly tipping had been triggered by reduced hours at council tips, the rising costs of dumping trade waste and the reduced frequency in domestic collections.
“Some local authority areas have introduced grey bins which won’t hold more than a couple of bags of waste. Other local authorities have moved to two weekly collections. There is even talk of having to book an appointment at the civic amenity site!
“Another factor in the build-up of household and trade waste is the increasing number of people going for extensions and renovations who are left with the option of paying extra for their builders to dispose of the waste or doing it themselves.
“People seem to think it would be worth taking the risk of fly tipping in a back lane or over farm land and hedges rather than pay the going rate at the local tip.”
Bruton Knowles is advising landowners that they are liable for any waste that is fly-tipped on their land and could be at risk of prosecution if they do not clear it away - often at considerable cost to themselves.
DEFRA say up to 900,000 fly-tipping incidents were dealt with by local authorities in England during 2014/15 but if anything, the problem is getting worse.
“It costs a good deal of money to clear up and if there are any contaminated materials involved then the cost implication as well as health issues are very high.
“Waste material could also include glass, metal and other items which could pose a problem to walkers, farm workers and wildlife.”
Ben Compton said the fall in the scrap metal price was also having an effect as more burnt out cars were being dumped in the Countryside.
“Before they were taken to scrap – now there could be a charge to dispose of them. It’s very difficult to police and it is up to the rural community to be vigilant.”
This is not only a rural issue. The problem is just as bad in urban areas.
“Country lanes leading out of our suburbs have always been favourite tipping grounds but according to the CLA the figures exclude much of the waste dumped on private land where it poses risks to local wildlife, livestock and the environment.”