SUPPLEMENTARY MEMORANDUM BY THE NATIONAL
FARMERS' UNION (DSW 85 (A))
1. As part of the Tidy Britain Group survey
in 1998 on the impacts of the Landfill Tax, the NFU carried out
a detailed survey amongst farmers and growers. Approximately 55
per cent of the farming respondents thought that the increase
in fly-tipping was due to the increase in landfill tax.
We were asked by the Committee to provide information
on cases where local councils have not removed fly-tipped material.
Without a comprehensive national survey we feel that it would
be inappropriate to identify individual local authorities that
have a particularly poor track record in dealing with the problems
of fly-tipping. However, the following case studies are offered
as illustrations of the kinds of problems faced by farmers and
landowners who become victims of fly-tipping.
On one farm in Essex, 1,0001,500 tyres
were dumped earlier this year. The local council estimated that
the costs of removal would be 75p per tyre.
For another farmer in Nottinghamshire, about
eight tons of tyres and three loads of builders rubble were dumped
in one of his fields between July and August and two of his gateways
were blocked with rubbish a few weeks following this.
In another case, five x seven tonne van-loads
of tyres were tipped on a SSSI in Essex during October last year.
The landowner initially discovered two loads of tyres. Over the
next three days, a load of tyres was tipped daily.
3. REMOVAL OF
Under section 33 (1) the Environmental Protection
Act 1990 it is an offence to deposit controlled waste on land
unless with a waste management licence. Section 59(7)(c) of the
same Act states that:
"If it appears to a waste regulation authority
or waste collection authority that waste has been deposited in
or on any land in contravention of section 33(1) above and that-
..(c)the occupier neither made nor knowingly
permitted the deposit of the waste; the authority may remove the
waste from the land or take other steps to eliminate or reduce
the consequences of the deposit or, as the case may require, to
remove the waste and take those steps".
As the waste regulation authority or the waste
collection authority, the Environment Agency or the local authority
has the power (but not a duty) to remove fly-tipped wastes.
Where fly-tipping incidents have been reported,
the local authority or the Environment Agency has the discretion
to remove that material.
4. BARRIERS TO
Past research carried out by MAFF has acknowledged
that anaerobic digestion has a role in farm waste management but
its potential is limited by high capital costs and difficulties
in marketing by-products. This was reported in the Government
response to The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution report
on Sustainable Use of Soil (1996).
5. LANDFILL TAX
We were invited to comment on the impact on
fly-tipping of an increase to £30/t in the landfill tax.
We are concerned that such an increase could lead to a substantial
rise in fly-tipping activity in the countryside. This would impact
directly on farmers who under current practices, would be required
by local authorities to clear up much of the increased quantity
of material deposited. Farmers would also then have to pay the
increased level of landfill tax which gave rise to the additional
material in the first place.
The opportunity exists to utilise a proportion
of the revenue raised by the landfill tax to fund the proper disposal
of fly-tipped material. Clearly it is preferable to impose the
costs on offenders wherever possible, but unfortunately few fly-tippers
are ever apprehended. What is unjust is to expect the unfortunate
victims to fund the proper disposal of fly-tipped material. There
is a strong argument that public funds raised by the landfill
tax, which has in any case generated at least a proportion of
fly-tipping, should be used to relieve the burden which is currently
being placedquite unjustlyon individuals such as