Fly-tippers have dumped heaps of asbestos on hills above Hetton, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Craven District Council’s Cleaner Neighbourhood Team is investigating the incident and is asking for any witnesses to come forward.
The asbestos is likely to cost more than £1,000 to clean up as a specialist company will need to remove it, due to the toxic fibres in the material.
There have been a number of similar cases in the district recently, including a quantity on Ings Lane under the A629 bypass, and council officers are keen for any evidence to identify the culprits.
Paul Ellis, Director of Services at Craven District Council, said: “Asbestos is a dangerous material and must be disposed of correctly. Fly-tipping this material is extremely irresponsible. It’s also particularly shocking that this waste has been dumped in a picturesque part of the National Park.
“Fly-tipping of any kind ruins our beautiful countryside and costs the tax-payer a great deal to clear up. I would urge anyone with any information to contact us as soon as possible.”
Anybody with any information about the fly-tipped asbestos is asked to contact Craven District Council’s Cleaner Neighbourhoods Team on 01756 700600.
Asbestos may be harmful if broken up and the fibres disturbed, so residents are advised to stay away from the immediate area until it is removed. Craven District Council’s Waste Management Team is arranging for its removal as soon as possible.
When removing asbestos from their own home, householders can dispose of it at the Household Waste Recycling Centre on Harrogate Road, Skipton. The asbestos needs to be double wrapped in thick plastic sheeting such as damp proof membrane. More information is available here: https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/asbestos
However many people choose to use a contractor to remove the waste due to the hazardous nature of the material. All householders who want to hire an asbestos removal contractor should check that they are a registered waste carrier. This can be done on the Environmental Agency’s public register: https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register
They must also ask to see the contractor’s asbestos licence; this allows them to handle asbestos and to dispose of it at a registered amenity site. You can also check that contractor has an asbestos licence here: https://webcommunities.hse.gov.uk/connect.ti/asbestos.licensing
Penalties for environmental crimes can vary but do include fines of up to £50,000 and/or up to 12 months imprisonment.
Craven District Council recently successfully prosecuted a fly-tipper after he was caught on CCTV cameras dumping rubbish in a layby.
Stuart Robinson, 54, of Dracup Road, Bradford, admitted the offence and was fined a total of £658 including costs. Robinson was caught on camera fly-tipping several bags of rubbish on land at a layby near Priors Lane, Skipton, on the A59.