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Pair arrested after raid on illegal waste site

The Environment Agency said waste including plastics and commercial rubbish was being burned at the site in Long Bennington, Lincolnshire.

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A waste disposal site near Long Bennington in Lincolnshire, which has been shut down following a raid involving Lincolnshire Police (Environment Agency/PA)

A waste disposal site near Long Bennington in Lincolnshire, which has been shut down following a raid involving Lincolnshire Police (Environment Agency/PA)

A waste disposal site near Long Bennington in Lincolnshire, which has been shut down following a raid involving Lincolnshire Police (Environment Agency/PA)

An illegal waste disposal site the size of a football pitch has been shut down after two people were arrested and machinery was seized.

The Environment Agency is now gathering evidence at the site near Long Bennington in Lincolnshire, after serving a criminal behaviour order on those present.

An excavator and a lorry which were actively depositing more waste at the facility on Fen Lane were seized on Thursday.

Action was taken after information was received that lorry loads of waste, including plastics, commercial rubbish and household furniture, were being accepted on to the site and burned illegally.

Smoke from burning waste piles, some said to be as big as a bungalow, was having a significant impact on local people and the environment.

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A waste disposal site near Long Bennington in Lincolnshire, which has been shut down following a raid involving Lincolnshire Police (Environment Agency/PA)

A waste disposal site near Long Bennington in Lincolnshire, which has been shut down following a raid involving Lincolnshire Police (Environment Agency/PA)

PA

A waste disposal site near Long Bennington in Lincolnshire, which has been shut down following a raid involving Lincolnshire Police (Environment Agency/PA)

The Environment Agency, which has blocked off all entrances to the site, said the burning had intensified in recent weeks despite the Covid-19 lockdown.

Norman Robinson, agency area director, said: “It’s our job to protect people and nature even in these uncertain times, which is why our regulatory and enforcement work continues while we adhere to the Government’s guidelines around coronavirus.

“Deliberately stockpiling and burning waste that should be safely disposed of is dangerous enough.

“But doing so in the current situation while people and legitimate businesses are so restricted shows a shocking disregard for our communities, society and the environment.

“This should serve as a warning to those who would flout not just the law, but the lockdown – we and our partners are still fighting to put a stop to waste crime and we won’t hesitate to take action.”

Chief Inspector Phil Vickers, of Lincolnshire Police, said: “We will work with partners and continue to enforce against offenders who operate illegally during the lockdown period and to protect our rural communities.”

An inquiry into numerous potential environmental offences is under way, including checks of surrounding watercourses for pollution.

PA