Natural Resources Wales warning over illegal operators dumping waste

Dumped Waste in Wales
The Welsh economy loses up to £32 million a year due to illegal and sub-standard waste disposal
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is asking Welsh farmers and landowners to be aware of requests to store waste on their land.

The request follows recent incidents where farmers across Wales have accepted waste for temporary storage. This growing problem is expensive to clear and is often driven by criminal gangs.

Euros Jones, North West Wales Operations Manager for NRW, said:  “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 land owner is often left with significant quantities of waste, which is potentially damaging to the environment, and a large bill to remove it legally.”

Illegal and sub-standard waste sites result in the Welsh economy losing up to £32 million a year, and recorded fly-tipping incidents rose in Wales by 6.5 per cent between 2015/16 and 2016/17.

The type of waste being found dumped on Welsh farmland varies – from partially shredded plastics, to mattresses, building materials and even soil.

NRW wishes to remind landowners that storing waste is tightly regulated and that environmental permits are required to store large quantities of waste to avoid pollution and reduce fire risk.

In March last year, the Welsh Assembly awarded new waste crime powers enabling enforcement officers to restrict or block entry to ‘problem’ sites for up to 72 hours.

In addition, the UK Government has awarded £1 million to technology companies to help fund smart waste tracking systems and reduce waste crime issues such as fly-tipping and illegal waste disposal.

Read more: Government invests £1 million in smart waste tracking to tackle waste crime

NRW is continuing to investigate several suspected sites across Wales and commented: “Anyone approached to store baled or any other type of waste on their land should report it to us immediately on 03000 65 3000.”

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