REMOVING AND disposing of fly-tipped rubbish from railway land is costing more than £2M a year, a senior Network Rail source told NCE this week.
The problem is worsening because new laws on landfill disposal have increased the cost of getting rid of material considered to be hazardous.
The extent of the problem is just becoming clear to Network Rail following its decision to take track maintenance work back in house.
Previously maintenance contractors disposed of fly tipped rubbish.
Network Rail is now fighting to reduce these costs.
'Fly tipping costs £2M a year across the network but was previously paid for by different contractors. The problem has worsened and the estimate is probably a minimum, ' said the source.
'We have maintenance gangs looking into it all the time and schedule in removal of large items. But this can become very expensive if it involves stopping a train.'
He said that Network Rail was coming to terms with these hidden costs by tracking fly tipping more closely with the British Transport Police and the Environment Agency.
The source said that cars, televisions and refrigerators had become a particular problem since they had been designated 'hazardous' waste under the newly implemented European Union Hazardous Waste Directive.