Farmers warned of fly tipping costs in the Fens
- Credit: Archant
An agricultural expert is warning of the hidden cost’ of fly tipping, after it was revealed that councils in the eastern region have spent more than £4 million on cleaning up in just 12 months.
Newly-released figures reveal there were more than 75,000 fly tipping incidents in East Anglia between 2016 and 2017.
Every January, councils see a surge in fly tipping, with residents and traders dumping post-festive waste, including old Christmas trees.
The worst hit area was Peterborough, with 8,186 incidents.
William Nicholl, head of Norfolk-based insurance specialist Lycetts’ rural division, warns that these figures, as high as they seem, are not a true reflection of the cost of fly tipping.
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“Farmers are well aware of this issue and are saddened by the visual impact it has on the countryside they maintain, as well as it being a nuisance and inconvenience when trying to get on with their normal, daily jobs.
“However, I don’t think that farmers are as aware that, should they fail to deal with incidences of fly tipping on their land and it leads to environmental damage, they could be held liable under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
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“With many authorities looking at introducing charges for bulky waste and organic waste collections and charging for dumping waste at council-run tips, there is a fear that fly tipping incidents on farmland will increase.”
Farmers who fall prey to this crime are having to shoulder the burden, responsible for meeting the cost of clearing rubbish from their land themselves – at an average cost of £1,000 per incident. They are also liable if the dumped rubbish damages the countryside.
William said that, despite the increase in fly tipping incidents, a relatively small number of farmers make claims as many have the kit and manpower to deal with it.
But he stressed the importance of having sufficient protection for farming businesses, particularly in the case of repeat offences.”
REGIONAL FLY TIPPING INCIDENTS
The first figure is for 2015/16 fly tipping incidents and the second is for 2016/17. The total is the cost to that council of clearing it up.