A vast illegal dump of 200 tonnes of rotting rubbish left in a Nottinghamshire field could take weeks and £40,000 to clear up.
Nottinghamshire County Council and the Environment Agency are investigating the mountain of waste near Cotgrave – which first appeared last year and caught fire on Monday night.
The vast pile of mixed waste is thought to cover half an acre off the old A46 and is waist-high in places.
The council has revealed it served an enforcement notice on the landowners ordering them to clear it up by September 1 or face the possibility of criminal proceedings.
Notts TV has so far been unable to contact the owners for comment.
If the enforcement notice is ignored, the council says it could be forced to arrange for the waste to be cleared at taxpayers’ expense, then seek to recover the money through the courts.
On Wednesday the Environment Agency’s Peter Haslock said he believes around 200 bales of waste are on the site – which could cost around £40,000 to be cleared.
“This is the aftermath of a large-scale industrial fly tipping event. It is the landowner who is responsible for clearing this dreadful mess.
“It’s an expensive job and now the bales have been split open it will be more difficult to clean the site up.”
Nottinghamshire County Councils says it has been working hard ‘ever since’ it was first made aware of the dump in October.
Jonathan Smith, from the council’s development management department, said the dump was an ‘appalling’ breach of planning and environmental rules.
He said: “If the deadline is not met the council does have powers to enter the land and carry out the requirements of the enforcement notice and recover any reasonable costs.”
The dump is on a patch of land near an area known as the ‘Old Barn’ by some villagers, off the old A46
Cotgrave Town Councillor Drew Wilkie said: “It damages our community because local young people use the area to ride their motorcycles and there’s probably hazardous stuff in there as well.
“It’s set on fire quite regularly and the fire brigade have to come up so it’s a waste of resources. Whoever has done it is pretty disgusting.”
Rosie Shread, who lives on Hickling Road, Cotgrave, said: “I first heard about it early on this year and it was bad then but nothing like this. It’s just disgusting.
“It makes you wonder what it is doing to the wildlife – somebody somewhere knows something [about how it was dumped].”