Farmers and land owners are being warned about scams targeting them and users of animal bedding involving illegal transfer and storage of waste which has already left some with five and six-figure clean-up bills.
According to Lincolnshire Police, there is a huge cost to the victim in these scams and they are urging the public to remain vigilant due to the high costs involved.
In one of the latest scams, farmers and landowners are now being targeted to store lorry loads of rubber on their land, in preparation of road works that are due to take place in the near future.
This is an ongoing version of the waste that was stored supposedly as straw bales.
A police spokesman said: “If you are approached by anyone – we have had reports that the front man is well dressed, smart, and well educated – asking for storage use of your land, you should exercise caution as to the intentions of the person.
The storage of bales on site scam is also continuing in the county, says the police. Various items have been shown to be inside the wrapped bales, including household waste.
Four sites in Lincolnshire have been identified in the last two to three weeks.
One farmer has been left with a £40,000 bill to get the waste removed, while another farmer has a bill for £250,000, said the spokesman, who added: “The waste must be removed, as it is at risk from self-combustion and arson. It will deteriorate and lead to leaching and work its way into watercourses, etc.”
In another variation of the scam, if you are offered wood chippings for bedding use – again exercise caution. When these deliveries have taken place, the chippings are totally unsuitable for such use, and have come from treated wood, of particular poor quality which is only suitable for incineration facilities which have appropriate emission controls to deal with the toxins produced when burnt, say police.
Again this material is highly susceptible to self-combustion and can burn for weeks/months with acrid smoke and fumes.
Generally speaking, wood waste falls into two categories: treated and untreated. Untreated wood is either virgin timber or “clean” wood which has not been subjected to applications of paint, varnish, staining, fungicides, preservative, adhesives, etc.
Treated wood is anything falling outside that description and will typically take the form of fence panels, MDF, chipboard and painted or stained wooden products.
Another version involves baled waste and fuel derived from Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).
RDF typically consists of pelletized, dried or shredded waste from household/commercial waste collections. The waste undergoes a treatment process to remove recyclable materials and non-combustible components such as metals, glass and grit. Other names given to similar waste types include Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF), Tyre Derived Fuel (TRF), etc.
For further advice contact the Environment Agency, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 03708 506 506 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.