South Holland areas see fly-tipping incidents as household tip shuts
The temporary closure of Spalding's main recycling centre due to the coronavirus outbreak could bring a wave of fly-tipping, it is feared.
Piles of rubbish, including black bags, cardboard, broken furniture and even three van seats, have been dumped in parts of Spalding, Surfleet and Tydd St Mary in the last week.
A decision to close Spalding Household Waste Recycling Centre, off West Marsh Road, was taken last Monday.
But Chris Carter, chairman of the NFU South Holland branch, said: "Fly-tipping is a scourge that continues to blight the countryside of South Holland.
"Everyone who lives and works in the countryside is continually reminded of the selfish and mindless actions of people too lazy to find appropriate solutions to dispose of their household waste.
"They see no problem with visiting it on the roads, dykes and verges of South Lincolnshire, merely assuming that 'someone else' will deal with it.
"Sadly some people prey on the vulnerable and agree to take their waste for a fee and then dump it in the countryside.
"In this case, not only is the person who dumps it liable but the person whose waste it is also and, in some cases, they have been prosecuted.
"Courts might not view it as the crime of the century and often levy utterly paltry fines for offenders which does not deter them at all.
"The police need to fully appreciate the amount of time and trouble required to clear this up and should prosecute many more people.
"The courts should then back this up with meaningful fines for those found guilty."
Police have been working in partnership with South Holland District Council and the Environment Agency on a SCRAP campaign where waste carriers are checked to ensure they are licensed.
Chief Inspector Phil Vickers, force lead on rural crime for Lincolnshire Police, said: "We are part of the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership where effective tactics and activity are coordinated from, with some days of action against waste carriers to check they are licensed in the way they are supposed to be.
"It's being led by local councils and we're happy to support it."
Cath Crowther, the Country Land and Business Association's east regional director, said: "Tens of thousands of incidents of fly-tipping are taking place on private and public land in Lincolnshire every year.
"But fly-tipping is not a victimless crime and private landowners in Lincolnshire are fed up of clearing away other people’s rubbish when it is dumped on their land,paying for the privilege.
"If they don’t act and clear the waste themselves, they risk prosecution which is simply not fair.
"It’s not just the odd bin bag that is being fly-tipped here or there, it can be tonnes of hazardous waste, mattresses, freezers, building and garden waste dumped on farmland.
"We need to see more people caught and punished with tough fines if we are ever to see a reduction in this crime."
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said: "The lead authority for fly-tipping is the local council and, just like front-line policing, they are under tremendous pressure dealing with issues relating to COVID-19 and the need to support the most vulnerable in our community.
"It is therefore exceedingly disappointing that some selfish and irresponsible people would choose to burden them further by dumping their rubbish in this way.
"They should be utterly ashamed of themselves for doing this and I hope they read this and realise just how appalling their behaviour has been and think twice before doing it again.
"During this time of national crisis, I would ask everyone to be responsible and work together to keep their community safe and clean."
Danny O'Shea, NFU Holland (Lincs) county adviser, said: "Fly-tipping really has become the scourge of the countryside.
"The rubbish can be costly and time-consuming for farmers and landowners to remove, it is dangerous to human health, harmful to wildlife and livestock and, in some cases, fly-tipped waste pollutes watercourses and contaminates land.
"While farmers and landowners do all they can to prevent fly-tippers, such as installing gates, barriers, warning signs and installing security cameras and lighting, in many cases we have found that deterrents do not work.
"These fly-tippers are people intent on breaking the law and they think nothing of cutting padlocks, breaking gates and smashing cameras.
"We need to clamp down on this huge and growing problem and the NFU wants to see government pull together a national picture of fly-tipping and use it to coordinate all agencies to target and deter offenders."