The CLA (Country Land and Business Association) is calling on householders to support the battle against fly-tipping, by thinking twice about how they dispose of their rubbish this New Year.

From January 1 charges to dispose of DIY waste at recycling centres have been removed, in a bid to reduce fly-tipping.

The CLA which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, says fly-tipping is a national disgrace that blights the countryside and needs to be tackled by penalties that better reflect the seriousness of the crime.

Christmas is a time when households can have an increased amount of general waste as people host friends and family. In addition, there can often be changes in local authority bin collection days too which can lead to an accumulation of waste over the festive period.

CLA President Victoria Vyvyan said: “The scrapping of charges for DIY waste from 1 January is good news for those residents who use recycling centres where local authorities still charge for this, and also for farmers who end up bearing the brunt of illegal fly-tipped materials dumped on their land.

“There are one million incidents of fly-tipping reported every year, and it has a massive impact on the environment, wildlife, and crops as well as on the farmers who have to pay to clear it up. Making it cheaper and easier for people to get rid of their waste means they will be less likely to dump it illegally, but the police must also deal with the criminal gangs making money by dumping waste.

“We should be making it as simple as possible for people to dispose of rubbish and unwanted items responsibly, so the removal of any cost barriers is welcome.”

CLA North Rural Adviser, and national CLA lead on fly-tipping, Jane Harrison, added: “Householders whose waste is fly-tipped can be prosecuted, so if you pay someone to dispose of your rubbish, make sure they have a Waste Carriers Licence or their fly-tipping could be your responsibility.

“Two-thirds of all farmers and landowners have at some stage been a victim. But hundreds of thousands of offences on private land are going unrecorded, as farmers often have so little faith in the ability of the police or council to deal with fly-tipping that they simply bear the cost of removing rubbish themselves.”

“It’s not just the odd piece of litter blotting the landscape, but tonnes of household and commercial waste which can often be hazardous – even including asbestos and chemicals - risking the safety of people and animals. This often requires costly expert treatment to remove.”