THE Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) says fly tipping has spiralled out of control and action must be taken to protect the countryside.
Commenting on the matter, UFU deputy president Victor Chestnutt said: “Northern Ireland’s rural roads and hedgerows have fallen foul to the actions of fly-tipping with the inappropriate disposal of waste increasing greatly in recent days. Fly-tipping has become the scourge of the countryside. It’s dangerous to human health and is harmful to livestock and wildlife. There have been issues in the past where fly-tipping waste polluted watercourses and contaminated land.
“It’s disappointing that some individuals think it’s acceptable to leave their waste, including scrap timber, worn tyres and in some cases the carcases of dead and rotting animals, for others to dispose of.
“Removing fly-tipping waste is both costly and time-consuming for farmers and other landowners. Once unwanted content is dumped on their land it becomes the responsibility of the landowner to dispose of this waste with local councils left to take ownership of waste on public land and highways. It’s not acceptable and it can’t continue.”
Spring weather and coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions have encouraged many to complete maintenance tasks at home. The UFU would like to remind everyone that council recycling centres are closed at present and householders should retain waste materials or pass to a licensed carrier for appropriate disposal. Fallen animals should be disposed of through the National Fallen Stock Scheme.
“I encourage all farmers to register to become a member of the National Fallen Stock Scheme and make use of its services. Householders should ensure they make use of authorised waste disposal operators if their waste level exceeds the limits of domestic waste collection services. No-one wants to deal with anyone else’s mess so please do your bit to dispose of your waste correctly.
“The UFU will continue to engage with other stakeholders to ensure that Northern Ireland’s waste permitting regime is strengthened appropriately. Work is also on-going so that further consultation occurs regarding any waste exemptions regime which can often be used to hide waste crime,” says Mr Chestnutt.
All incidences of fly-tipping should be reported to your local council which will investigate the incident and will hold those individuals who engage in such activities responsible. They may also involve the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) in their investigation.
Local councils can be contacted as follows. The UFU advises members to ask to speak with someone from the council’s environmental health department when reporting an incidence of fly tipping.
n Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council – 028 9034 0000;
n Ards and North Down Borough Council – 0300 013 3333;
n Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council – 0300 0300 900 or 028 3831 2400;
n Belfast City Council – 028 9032 0202;
n Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council – 028 7034 7034;
n Derry City and Strabane District Council – 028 7125 3253;
n Fermanagh and Omagh District Council – 0300 303 1777;
n Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council – 028 9250 9250;
n Mid and East Antrim Borough Council – 0300 124 5000;
n Mid Ulster District Council – 0300 013 2132;
n Newry, Mourne and Down District Council – 0300 013 2233.