Avoiding baled waste
Fly tipping is a constant problem and can be an expensive eyesore for the landowner who then becomes responsible for clearing the dumped material. Unless you are very unlucky, the expense incurred in clearing the fly tipped material is unlikely to be catastrophic.
That can not be said for the well-known practice of waste criminals using legitimate commercial leasehold sites for the illegal storage of waste material. This would typically be material that is expensive to dispose of legally, with tyres being the most common. There are far too many instances of storage space and/or hard standing being leased to an unknown quantity who fills it with tyres and then disappears, leaving the owner with a very expensive problem.
Now that most people are aware of the practice, the criminal waste fraternity has come up with a new wheeze. The last year has seen several instances of baled waste being deposited in the north east. The bales are wrapped so appear as rectangular silage bales, so hardly look out of place on farmland or around a steading.
Reducing the risk of such dumping on farmland requires vigilance and also restricting access, where possible, to roads and tracks which could be used by heavy goods vehicles for dumping waste.
The best way of minimising the risk when letting farm buildings and hard storage areas, is to insist on a formal, legally binding lease to be signed by all parties. This will allow background checks to be undertaken on the lessor prior to entering into the agreement. The nod, wink and handshake approach is only inviting trouble.
The Environment Agency reports that clean up costs for such incidents in the North East so far this year, are running at an average of around £70,000. It really does not seem to be worth the risk for the sake of some relatively modest expenditure on legal fees.
If you would like any further information or to discuss any rural related matter, please contact Tom Wills, head of the agriculture & estates department at Sintons.