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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007, 07:03 GMT
Prosecution vow for fly tippers
Nia Thomas
BBC Wales rural affairs correspondent

Rubbish left on the roadside
Local authorities spend thousands clearing illegally dumped waste
Illegal dumping of rubbish in the Welsh countryside is a growing problem, according to environment officials.

Last year there were 4,000 cases of rubbish left on farmland in Wales and England, not necessarily by farmers.

There were more than 120,000 cases on footpaths and bridle paths - and these were just the recorded incidents.

But the Environment Agency and councils have said they prosecute individuals and companies if they have the evidence.

Anglesey Council spends about 100,000 annually on clearing rubbish which has been dumped illegally in the countryside.

If we're able to get a registration number then we can go ahead and prosecute
Euryn Roberts, Environment Agency

Gerallt Jones, a waste enforcement officer with Anglesey council, said: "We deal with hundreds of incidents every year. The materials dumped range from household waste to asbestos, tyres and car batteries.

"There is absolutely no excuse for dumping household items - the council will collect them for free. I can only think it's utter laziness."

In some areas the Environment Agency in partnership with local councils set up surveillance areas.

Euryn Roberts from the agency said: "In areas where we've put up cameras they've been very successful - although it is very time-consuming and can be very frustrating.

"But if we're able to get a registration number then we can go ahead and prosecute."

Furniture and rubbish by the roadside
Officials have warned there is a high price for breaking the law

One success story is a lay-by near Gwalchmai on Anglesey - a lay-by which had to be cleared at least twice a week because of the waste dumped there.

"The cameras have been very effective here and mean the problem has just about disappeared," adds Mr Roberts.

Mr Jones said Anglesey Council has a zero tolerance policy towards illegal dumping.

"If we have the evidence then we will prosecute. The fines can be up to 50,000 and up to five years in prison," he added.

The period after Christmas is notoriously bad for illegal dumping but the authorities are warning that the price for breaking the law is a high one.

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