West Norfolk Council leaders have backed a new campaign which is calling for the public’s help to clamp down on illegal waste sites.
The Environment Agency has launched the initiative and urged the public to be vigilant against waste crime.
The agency claims more than 40 per cent of illegally operated waste sites are within 50 metres of either homes, schools, hospitals or areas of outstanding natural beauty.
And Mat Crocker, the agency’s deputy director of illegals and waste, said the activity costs up to £1 billion a year in lost revenues to the Treasury and businesses who are operating legitimately.
He said: “The dust, odour and noise from illegal sites can be very disruptive for people living nearby.
“What’s more, illegal waste operators undercut legitimate industry which can hinder investment in infrastructure that would help improve the environment.”
“We are urging people to be aware of the signs to spot and report suspicious activity anonymously to Crimestoppers.”
The agency says signs of illegal operations could include water pollution, consistent burning, increasing numbers of lorries going to and from an individual site and increased activity outside normal hours.
Brian Long, the borough council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “The Environment Agency is to be applauded for clamping down on illegal waste sites.
“They are not a big problem for us, but they can spring up quickly and cause great distress for neighbours and farmers.
“If people remain vigilant and report the tell-tale signs of waste crime to Crimestoppers, the Environment Agency can nip it in the bud before it becomes a public nuisance.”
Information can be given to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.