Welsh farmers and landowners are being warned of the potential dangers of agreeing to requests to store waste on their land.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is dubbing it a “growing problem driven by criminal gangs”, after recent incidents where farmers across Wales accepted waste for temporary storage.
NRW stresses that storing waste is tightly regulated, environmental permits are required to store large quantities, and any exemptions have strict conditions about the amount and type of material that is allowed to be stored.
“If individuals or companies offer baled waste to farmers to store, supposedly on a temporary basis, it is vital they check that the right permissions are in place,” said Euros Jones, north-west Wales operations manager for NRW.
“Landowners may let land in good faith to waste operators, but it is vital they do so with their eyes wide open.
“There are unscrupulous operators looking to dump waste anywhere they can. The landowner is often left with significant quantities of waste, which is potentially damaging to the environment, and a large bill to remove it legally.”
He added: “The type of waste can vary a lot, from partially shredded plastics and materials, to mattresses and even soil or building material.
“The rules are in place to make sure waste is managed and stored correctly to avoid pollution and fire risk.”
NRW is urging anyone approached to store baled or other types of waste on their land to report it immediately on 03000 65 3000.
Waste exemption rules can be checked on the NRW website