The Environment Agency is urging witnesses to come forward with any information about large amounts of waste that has been dumped illegally in a farmer’s field in East Hampshire.
Investigations by specialist Environmental Crime Team officers have revealed that overnight on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 September, around 250 waste tyres were illegally dumped at North Lane in Clanfield.
This is in addition to a large quantity of building waste being left at the site that contained potentially hazardous asbestos sheets which may have originated from the demolition of a garage, shed or outbuilding.
The dump site is close to the A3 and the Environmental Crime team suspect the waste was transported from a long distance away before being offloaded, and intelligence received may suggest a link to Windlesham in Surrey. Within a week after it was dumped the waste was removed at the expense of the landowner.
Nigel Oliver, Area Environmental Crime Officer, said: “This is not a matter of simple fly-tipping. This case appears to be intentional large scale avoidance of disposal costs of what is potentially harmful material.
“This callous act has endangered the environment and had a costly impact for the land owner. It is vital that we identify where the items have come from and who took it there. If an innocent party has handed it to a contractor for disposal then they won’t be in any trouble and will have critical information for us.
“The waste must have been taken to the site in a large sized vehicle and I appeal to people to think if they’ve seen this material on a truck or lorry, or even being loaded onto one. This kind of environmental crime is completely unacceptable as it can cause pollution, harm to wildlife and it creates a total eyesore for those living nearby.”
Landowner Mrs Rook said “Illegal dumping of waste has a large impact on small businesses such as our own, amounting to £700 on this occasion to have the material removed and properly disposed of. This seems to be a recurring problem and I would urge anyone with information about this incident or any other waste crime to contact the authorities.”
Anyone who has any information can contact the Environment Agency’s Romsey Depot on 01794 832777 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. All calls will be treated in confidence.
Illegal waste sites are a growing problem nationally and the Environment Agency recently set up a nationwide task force of investigators specifically to tackle this criminal activity. These waste sites are unlicensed, operate without any safeguards to the environment and undermine legitimate waste management companies who are undercut by illegal operators.
Those responsible for running illegal waste sites can be fined up to £50,000 in Magistrates' Courts, face unlimited fines in higher courts, as well as community punishment orders or prison sentences of up to 5 years.
Illegal dumping costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds a year in clean up costs. The Environment Agency works in partnership with local authorities and the police to investigate these offences.
For further information about how the Environment Agency is cracking down on waste crime, please visit: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/waste/