LANDOWNERS have called upon national and local government to demonstrate how they will make use of their powers and responsibilities on fly tipping and deliver results.

“This is a crime in which innocent victims pay the penalties while perpetrators pocket some cash and go unpunished,” says Rebecca Williams, director of CLA Cymru, following publication by the Welsh Government of statistics on fly tipping.

“Fly tipping’s a national disgrace that contaminates land and watercourses, creates health and safety threat to humans and livestock, blights the countryside and leads to heavy clear-up costs by landowners, farmers and rural businesses. We’re calling on society to open its eyes to this issue and for effective action to be taken to tackle the problem.”

Wales’s fly-tipping figures show 35,434 formally recorded incidents on local authority land. Areas such as Powys and Carmarthenshire have seen dramatic increases in cases – Carmarthenshire at 2,939 incidents, nearly 70 per cent increase from last year and Powys up 50 per cent from last year at 1,436 incidents.

The cost of clearance of fly tipped waste from recorded incidents on local authority land alone is £1.9m.

“Last October we welcomed the Welsh Government’s new regulations which allow local authorities in Wales to issue fixed-penalty notices for fly-tipping incidents. Under the new provisions penalties could be imposed," said Ms Williams.

"However government at all levels has to show commitment to meet their responsibilities. Failure to do so sends a message to the community that this crime is likely to pass-by without a process of investigation and penalty.

“I fear that, as a community, we are so accustomed to this problem that we turn a blind eye to this selfish, unsociable and irresponsible crime.”

She added that land managers who failed to clear-up waste deposited on their land faced prosecution – on top of the penalties of damage and disruption. Some waste even required specially qualified operators and costly plant and equipment to clear.

“Incidents on private land are always under-reported as land managers focus on clear-up and ensuring their normal business activities can go ahead unimpeded," she added.

The average cost to private businesses of clearing fly-tipped waste is around £800 per case.