Empty industrial units are being used to dump thousands of tonnes of illegal waste, says the Environment Agency (EA).
Criminals pose as legitimate tenants in order to rent properties, then store illegal waste there. Landlords, property managers and farmers then have to pay thousands of pounds in clear-up costs. They also face possible criminal prosecution, fines or prison for operating without a permit.
The top land types for illegal dumping are farms 34%; industrial units 24%; abandoned factories 10% and derelict sites 7%. National Enforcement Service deputy director Nicky Lawton said: “Unsuspecting landlords and property managers are falling foul of waste criminals.”