Calls to ban rubbish charges as farmers report fly-tipping on the rise
PUBLISHED: 17:39 30 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:45 30 July 2019
People facing council costs to dispose of rubbish are dumping huge items including entire windows and radiators in the Norfolk countryside.
It comes as the government is reviewing fees imposed by local authorities such as Norfolk County Council - which charges £5 a dustbin of waste and up to £15 of plasterboard.
And the result is people are choosing to dump it in the countryside. One farmer, who did not want to be named, said in the past few months alone, he had found window panels, a radiator cover, large pillows, a fridge and plastic lids off bottles strewn in different fields off country roads near Aylsham. But because it's private land, it's up to him to fork out to get them cleared.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has stipulated people should not be charged for anything which 'results from work a householder would normally carry out' and is currently looking at the issue.
Ben Underwood, director of the eastern region of the CLA, the Country, Land and Business Association, called on the government to make it a priority. "I would suggest raising penalties but that only helps if you can catch the flytipper. There have been trials in Hertfordshire where farmers are recompensed for removing waste themselves but there is a lot of form filling and the view is also that if individuals think someone is getting paid, they don't feel as guilty leaving rubbish on their land.
"The issue has been considered too hard to do anything about but it's just getting worse."
Some flytipping is also done by rogue operators who get paid to remove rubbish but then dump it themselves to avoid costs. Norfolk County Council launched its SCRAP scheme earlier this year to remind people to check the person disposing of rubbish was a licensed carrier.
A Norfolk County Council spokeswoman said: "Evidence shows that more than 80% of items that are fly-tipped in Norfolk could have been taken to a recycling centre for free. Norfolk recycling centres have been charging for DIY type construction and demolition waste for over 15 years. A weekly free allowance for small amounts of this type of material from householders limited to one bag or item a week ended in April 2018.
"Since this allowance ended there is no indication that total fly-tips in Norfolk have increased compared to the years before the policy was changed, and figures continue to remain in line with national fly-tipping trends."
Have you suffered a problem of fly-tipping on your land? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @edpbusiness