Opportunity to pull the trigger on countryside fly-tipping has been missed, industries bodies have argued.
Despite the Government’s new litter strategy hoping to lower the number of fly-tippers through its push of litter picking community service and an overhaul of ‘unacceptable’ charges in local tips, the NFU said such moves would not help combat rural offenders if reliance was focused on prosecution.
NFU deputy president Minette Batters said it was a ‘fundamental problem’ and instead called for a collaboration of waste industry bodies.
She said: “On face value, one of the new proposals to force fly-tippers to clean up their own rubbish via community service is a step in the right direction, but this would rely on the perpetrators being caught and prosecuted first.
“This is a fundamental problem because the NFU does not believe that existing powers for enforcement are being fully utilised.”
Ms Batters called on the magistrates to ‘make full use of their sentencing powers’ and provide a ‘real deterrent’ against fly-tipping.
It came as Defra confirmed its refusal to offer further consideration of compensation to farmers and landowners when faced with large-scale commercial dumping on their private land.
Secretary of State Andrea Leadsom said she thought tip charges were a ‘lead factor’.
In answer to the parliamentary question from former parliamentary spokesman for food, farming and rural affairs Baroness Byford, Lord Gardiner of Kimble suggested fly-tipping was ‘unacceptable’ but warned the government would not consider compensation.
He said: “Fly-tipping on private land is a difficult issue.
“Local authorities are not under any legal obligation to clear fly-tipped waste from private property, so this responsibility falls to the landowner.”
The CLA echoed the NFU’s claims and called for better enforcement of penalties to ‘tackle the attitudes and behaviours’ or irresponsible litterers.
It said incidents of fly-tipping last year hit a total of £50 million.
A spokesman added: “We would like to see more creative use of measures like naming and shaming, confiscation of vehicles and other property and better education about the consequences of careless littering.”