Farm businesses targeted by the worst incidences of flytipping are being put in jeopardy by expensive clean-up costs, but despite recent law changes to punish culprits the situation could be about to get worse, an agricultural insurer has warned.
Government figures show councils in Yorkshire spent nearly £5m on cleaning up dumped waste on council-owned land in 2016-17.
The figures do not include clear-up costs incurred by private land owners, with farms often targeted, and Yorkshire-based insurers Lycetts warn that not only is there the annual threat of a post-Christmas surge in flytipping but that new waste disposal charges introduced by some councils could see flytipping spike.
Gerard Salvin, divisional director at Lycetts, said: “If farmers are unfortunate enough to have a flytipping ‘hotspot’ on their land, costs soon tot up and their business could be put in jeopardy.
“Farmers are not only having to fork out for clean-up costs but are having to worry about the damage it can cause to workers and their animals.”
He added: “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 flytipping incidents on farmland will increase.”
In Yorkshire, 69,758 incidences of flytipping were reported in 2016/17; 875 more than in the year before.
Last May, councils got new powers to issue fixed penalty notices of up to £400 for flytippers caught in the act and since 2015, councils and other agencies have been able to seize vehicles they have ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect had been used for flytipping.
The Country Land and Business Association wants a national fly-tipping tsar to be appointed to co-ordinate efforts to beat the menace.