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Farmer scammed by waste criminals

Alert message sent 28/04/2017 09:56:00

Information sent on behalf of Derbyshire Constabulary


A farmer has been scammed by unscrupulous waste criminals in Lincolnshire.
A Boston farmer faces the cleanup bill for 250 tonnes of waste after being approached and asked if he wanted tarmac road planings that can be used to repair roads and farmyards on their land.

The Environment Agency issued a warning last week after 2 farmers in the Grantham area suffered the same fate, with one of them facing an estimated bill of £300,000 to dispose of the waste after they found baled rubbish on their land instead of the promised tarmac road plannings.

In the recent Boston case, a neighbour made the farmer aware of the scam warnings issued last week after the initial 250 tonnes of waste were left, and this ensured that no further waste was dumped on the site.

The Environment Agency is urging all landowners to be wary and not become the next victim of illegal waste disposal and dumping.

Advice from the Environment Agency includes:
  • use reputable agents and brokers
  • carry out suitable checks and due diligence, i.e. get the individuals details, vehicle registration, ask where the waste is coming from (address, permit number, waste carriers registration)
  • inform them you’ll be contacting the Environment Agency or call us whilst they are there
  • don’t agree to accept any waste until you have carried out some checks and had a cooling off period to fully consider the offer
Peter Stark, Senior Enforcement Officer, said: Waste criminals can be very convincing and persuasive, sometimes offering £1000s in cash up front. Don’t be tempted by quick money because you could end up with not only a massive disposal bill but also harm to the environment, flies, polluting liquids running out of bales of waste and increased risk of fire.

We will investigate the illegal waste incidents fully and take enforcement action where necessary. The recent case shows that farmers in the region are particularly at risk of this scam.

However, the landowners may have to pay significant sums to remove the waste legally. Waste crime is a serious issue diverting as much as £1 billion per annum from legitimate businesses and Treasury.

Although these specific incidents occurred in Lincolnshire, we want landowners and farmers everywhere to be vigilant.

The Environment Agency provides impartial advice to customers, individuals and businesses to help them grow. Our local officers will be happy to talk to you, can make public register checks whilst you are on the phone or you can make checks on the GOV.UK website for free, or you can call the Environment Agency’s customer contact centre on 03708 506 506.

Highways England and county council’s highways department and their contractors will always use legitimate waste carriers and sites for the reuse or disposal of waste. They may approach farmers and landowners to see if they want to reuse tarmac road planings or crushed rubble and concrete to repair road and yard areas, but farmers need to register the U1 waste exemption with the Environment Agency and abide by the rules.

The vast majority of waste sites that the Environment Agency regulate are well run and provide essential waste management services. The Environment Agency are there to help the legitimate businesses. Waste stored inappropriately can create issues for neighbours like smells and pests. It can also have a detrimental effect on the environment and impact on rivers and streams. There is a high risk of waste fires due to the waste not being stored in the correct manner.

Everybody has a part to play to help solve the waste crime problem and make sure waste is managed responsibly. If you see or suspect illegal waste activities, report it anonymously to Crimestoppers or call 0800 555 111.
Message sent by
James Bowler (Police, Rural Crime Team Officer, Derbyshire)

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