The Environment Agency is reminding landowners of their safety responsibilities with illegal waste storage.
It comes after 100,000 tyres and up to 3,000 cubic metres of plastic bales were removed from two Lincolnshire sites. As well as being expensive to remove and dispose of, waste left like this can present fire hazards and other damage to the environment.
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Illegal waste left can cost thousands of pounds to be removed and it’s important that landowners check before signing a contract with businesses or individuals to ensure the contract complies with regulations.
“We welcome the successful resolution to these long standing issues at both sites, dealing with difficult waste types. We also welcome the success of partnership work to make sure that sites like these are kept within the regulation and prevent harm to the environment.”
Land, part of which was leased by an abandoned tyre operation at Holme Farm near Kirton Holme, was sold, with the responsibility and cost of disposing the tyres falling to the new owner. The Environment Agency got involved to advise and ensure the tyres’ disposal was in accordance with regulations.
The Environment Agency with the Fire Service had worked with the previous landowner to ensure the tyre bales were stored safely. They established measures such as fire breaks, available water provision and emergency contacts to minimise the risk of fire and potential harm to the environment.
At a similar site near Brigg, up to 3,000 cubic metres of plastic bales were stored – on a forged permit – which caused fly infestation problems affecting residents and businesses nearby. While the Environment Agency worked with partners to deal with the pest control, they also kept a relationship with the operator to encourage him to deal with the situation. Although the company went into liquidation after being prosecuted, the operator took personal responsibility for the site and cleared it.
The Environment Agency is asking the public to inform them of any illegal activity relating to waste – reports can be made anonymously to Crimestoppers 0800 555111.
For advice on operating a waste business and details on the permits available visit www.gov.uk and search under ‘environmental permitting’.