Almost a third of rural land owners and agricultural businesses in the North East, Yorkshire and Humber have had illegal waste dumped on their land in the last three years, according to new research.
This follows a recent Environment Agency warning that urges them not to be duped into storing waste on their land.
Businesses, particularly those in rural areas, are targeted by criminals looking to dispose of waste illegally by dumping it in warehouses, mills and open spaces.
These criminals can be persuasive, convincing land owners to give them access to property, which they then fill with waste and abandon, leaving the land owner with an expensive clearance bill.
According to the research commissioned by the Right Waste, Right Place campaign, put together by a group of sponsors and managed by the Environmental Services Association, 30 per cent of the agricultural businesses and rural land owners in the region have suffered from illegal waste dumping since 2014.
More than half of those affected disposed of the waste themselves. Just 16 per cent called the police.
Anyone suspicious of illegal activity, approached to store such waste or currently storing such waste can call the Environment Agency’s 24-hour hotline, 0800 807060.