Boston farmer is latest victim of waste criminals

Some hay bales previously dumped at a Lincolnshire farm as part of a scam.
Some hay bales previously dumped at a Lincolnshire farm as part of a scam.

A Boston farmer has become the latest victim of unscrupulous waste criminals in Lincolnshire, the Environment Agency has reported.

The farmer faces the cleanup bill for 250 tonnes of waste after being approached and asked if he wanted road planings that can be used to repair roads and farmyards on their land.

The EA issued a warning last week after two 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 road planings.

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 EA 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:

- using reputable agents and brokers

- carrying out suitable checks and due diligence, such as getting the individual’s details, vehicle registration, and asking where the waste is coming from (address, permit number, waste carriers’ registration)

- informing them you’ll be contacting the EA or calling us while they are there

- not agreeing 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 for the EA, said: “Waste criminals can be very convincing and persuasive, sometimes offering £1,000s 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 and 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 £1billion per annum from legitimate businesses and the Treasury.

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

The Highways Agency 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 re-use road planings or crushed rubble and concrete to repair road and yard areas but farmers need to register the U1 waste exemption with the EA and abide by the rules.

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.

If you see or suspect illegal waste activities, report it anonymously to CrimeStoppers or call 0800 555 111.