A NEW scheme aimed at combating the fly-tipping of cannabis farm waste in the district is set to be trialled.

Whilst fly-tipping has been a major problem in the area for years, more recently there's been a rise in incidents where dumped waste has included cannabis-farm-related items – such as dead plants, compost and lighting equipment.

One such incident was at Oxenhope, where Yorkshire Water was given permission to erect fencing to help protect a major water supply off Nab Water Lane from contamination after it was targeted.

A new report by Bradford Council suggests many of the cases may not necessarily be down to the criminals behind the cannabis production, but the landlords left with the remains of the illegal grows in their properties after police raids.

Members of the regeneration and environment scrutiny committee have been given an update on the work being done to tackle fly-tipping, including the initiative to tackle the dumping of cannabis farm debris.

Under the new scheme, equipment and greenery remaining after a police raid will be doused in 'smart water' – a forensic liquid with its own unique code – so that if the materials are illegally dumped, the source can be traced.

Landlords will be advised that unless they use proper means to dispose of waste, they could find themselves in trouble.

The report says that overall, the council collected 4,882 tonnes of fly-tipped waste and litter in the past financial year.

Referring to cannabis fly-tipping, it adds: “Over recent months there have been a number of incidents that have involved cannabis farm waste.

“When fly-tipped bags have been opened they have been found to contain dead cannabis plants, lamps, wiring and tubs of fertiliser.

“Intelligence has indicated that some of this waste may originate from rented property after the police have attended a suspected cannabis farm.

“We are currently exploring a partnership approach with the police to tackle this. The council has an information sharing agreement with the police who have agreed to notify the environmental enforcement team when they have attended a suspected cannabis farm.

“Once the police have removed any evidence from the scene they will contact the landlord of the property and leave a leaflet designed and supplied by the council.

“They will also spray any cannabis farm waste with smart water so that if the material is fly-tipped it can be traced back to the property."