A scam in Lincolnshire has left farmers near the town of Grantham with bills of up to £300,000 after discovering dumped waste on their land.
The Environmental Agency’s (EA) crime team had to deal with two new waste dumping incidents over the past week according to the Government.
The farmers were asked whether they wanted tarmac road plannings that can be used to repair roads left on their land.
After accepting the offer and cash they found bales of landfill on their land instead of the expected road plannings.
One farmer found 2,500 bales on his land and now faces a clean-up cost of £300,000 as farm insurance policies do not usually cover what might be described as “poor business ventures.”
The EA warns that landowners in neighbouring counties should also be vigilant as the scam will likely not be confined to Lincolnshire.
Peter Stark, the EA’s senior enforcement officer, said:
Criminals operating in and around the waste industry can be very convincing and persuasive, sometimes offering thousands of pounds in cash up front. Don’t be tempted by quick money, you could end up with an environmental risk, flies, polluting liquids running out of bales of waste and even fire risks alongside the massive disposal bill.
“We will investigate these two illegal waste incidents fully and take enforcement action if we can. However these farmers and landowners may have to pay significant sums to remove the waste legally. Waste crime is a serious issue diverting as much as £1 billion per annum from legitimate business and treasury.
“Although these specific incidents occurred in Lincolnshire, we would not be surprised if this scam was attempted in neighbouring counties due to convenient transport links.”
The EA advices farmers to:
- Use reputable brokers and agents only
- Carry out suitable checks and diligence, such as vehicle registrations
- Inform the party that the EA is being contact while they are there
- Don’t agree to anything until checks have been made
The EA can be contacted on 03708 506 506 or on its website.