The Country Land & Business Association (CLA) is encouraging farmers and landowners to report waste that has been dumped illegally in gateways, fields and hedgerows over the festive season, so police can measure the scale of the problem.
The association said fly-tipping in rural areas increased over any holiday period, especially Christmas, when households generate more waste than usual and the days are shorter and darker.
Dorothy Fairburn, CLA regional director said: “Waste dumped illegally can contaminate land and rivers and threaten livestock and wildlife.
“If caught, fly-tippers could receive a custodial sentence and be fined up to £50,000.
“In reality, it is the private landowner who is left to settle a large clean-up bill and face prosecution.
“The CLA is lobbying the Government to create a new ticketing scheme that would enable landowners to take fly-tipped rubbish to their local tip free of charge.
“A successful pilot scheme is up and running in Suffolk, proving this is a viable solution.”
The CLA’s plan calls for the Government to ensure local authorities accept fly-tipped waste without charge to landowners; an end to the prosecution of landowners who have waste dumped on their land and have to pay to remove it.
They are also calling for the creation of the right policy framework for local authorities to work with police forces on a zero-tolerance approach to the perpetrators.