Advice to farmers and landowners after waste scammers target Lincolnshire

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Rural businesses and landowners have been targeted by ruthless waste scammers in recent weeks, sparking a police warning to advise potential victims.

Police and the Environment Agency issued a farm watch alert for a number of scams types, many of which have left landowners with significant bills.

Four sites have been targeted in the last two to three weeks, officials said.


One farmer was left with a bill of £40,000 to have the waste removed and another was billed £250,000.

Police say waste must be removed as it is a risk from self-combustion and arson. It is also likely to deteriorate and lead to leaching and work its way into the local watercourse.

The alert warns of the following:

Rubber storage scam

Farmers are being targeted to store lorry loads of rubber on their land. This is said to be in preparation of road works that are due to take place in the near future.

Police say: “This is an ongoing version of the waste that was stored supposedly as straw bales.

“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.

Storage of bales

Examples of illegal bales of waste

A number of landowners have been caught out by fraudsters requesting storage of straw bales. The wrapped bales then turn out to include items such as household waste.

Wood chipping scam

Example of illegally dumped wood chip. Photo: Environment Agency

The police alert said: “If you are offered wood chippings for bedding use – please 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.

“Again this material is highly susceptible to self-combustion and can burn for weeks/months with acrid smoke/fumes.”

For further advice please contact the Environment Agency on [email protected] or call 03708 506 506.