The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has joined forces with a county council to pilot practical ways to tackle the growing scourge of fly-tipping on farms.
The CLA has announced a partnership with Suffolk County Council to trial new ways in which farmers and land managers who are victims of fly-tipping could take their waste to their local authority disposal site more easily.
Fly-tipping is on the rise and farmers are increasingly being burdened with staggering costs of up to £1,200 to clear up the mess left by others.
As part of the partnership, the project will be trying to identify the barriers to setting up a ticketing system and if that approach is viable.
DEFRA is providing funding for the joint partnership, which if successful, could be rolled out to other local authorities.
Derek Holliday, CLA’s head of environment said: “Fly-tipping is a scourge, not just a simple littering offence. It is more than unsightly – it can be dangerous to people, livestock and wildlife, and we know of cases where it has cost £800 – £1,200 for the innocent landowner to deal with.
“We can now announce our trailblazing partnership with Suffolk County Council, which is being funded by DEFRA.
“Why Suffolk? Well, Suffolk Waste Partnership has already worked at a local level to allow trade waste to be disposed of more easily, so has the experience to evaluate this project properly.”
He added: “In an ideal world, we would like to see fly-tipping taken to local tips free of charge, under a ticketing scheme.
“This pilot will identify whether or not this can be done, or whether we need to continue to lobby for a change in the Environmental Protection Act, so that innocent victims no longer risk criminalisation.”
“Fly-tipping is a scourge, not just a simple littering offence. It is more than unsightly – it can be dangerous to people, livestock and wildlife, and we know of cases where it has cost £800 – £1,200 for the innocent landowner to deal with.”
The NFU counted 168 incidences of fly-tipping among its members last year – a year-on-year increase of 45% – in its latest report on fly-tipping, released last week.
The report stated that while the average cost of clearing up fly-tipped mess if £170, in some of the worst cases farmers have had to pay up to £1,200 to remove mess dumped by others.
The CLA said the NFU report was the latest in a succession of reports that had highlighted the growing problem of fly-tipping, but practical measures were what was really needed.
“There has to be a long-term solution to fly-tipping and surely we’ve done enough surveys and wringing of hands,” said Mr Holliday.
“This practical partnership could be the first step to actually dealing with this blight in our countryside.”
The CLA will also continue to lobby the government to remove the potential for farmers and landowners to be prosecuted for non-removal of waste tipped on their land.
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