Fly-tipping is defined as the illegal dumping of waste, the scale of which can vary between a few bin-bags to an entire truckload. This a growing problem in the UK and the motivations behind the crime can’t always be clearly determined. It could be due to a desire to save money, a lack of waste disposal facilities available to the perpetrator or simply wanting to relocate their problem waste for someone else to deal with.
Who has to deal with the waste?
Farmers and landowners are increasingly agitated by this issue and are calling upon the government to do more about it. One of their biggest concerns is that the government will clear up public land however they will not help those who suffer the crime on private land, instead stating it is the responsibility of the landowners themselves to clear up.
Worse still, those affected could then be personally penalised if they refuse to clean up the waste left on their land, sometimes finding themselves subject to court proceedings initiated by the Environment Agency (EA).
The average cost for a clean-up is around £1000 however if the landowner is taken to court for the presence of the waste, they could be liable to pay a lot more in defence, investigation and compensation costs.
The government have suggested measures to tackle the issue, including harsher penalties and victim support. At the moment, however, farmers and landowners need to find their own ways to protect their land from the threat of fly-tipping.
- Ensuring that the access points to land are secured using fences, gates and logs
- Attempting to improve visibility so fly-tippers can’t work unnoticed
- Implementing CCTV across their land and warn away potential fly-tippers with clear signage
- Speaking with surrounding landowners/neighbours to implement a wide-scale ‘Neighbourhood Watch Scheme’
- Patrolling grounds at vulnerable periods or hiring someone to help do so can assist
- Ensure waste is removed quickly and correctly
- Being aware of contaminated waste and how to remove it. If handled incorrectly, landowners may be at risk from EA liability action
- Although tempting, waste shouldn’t be moved onto the roadside. This is considered as fly-tipping in itself
- Report it immediately to the relevant authority
Before clearing up any waste, landowners should make sure a full risk assessment is conducted to ensure they’re not at harm from the waste and determine if they need any specialist protective equipment during the clean-up. It may sometimes be necessary to hire specialist contractors dependent on the nature of the waste.
With our specialist product, Rural Protect, your clients gain protection from action taken against them by any UK regulator, including the Environment Agency. Find out more about our Rural Protect policy and how it can benefit your clients, here. Alternatively, get in touch with us today on 01653 609090.