ORGANISDED "enviro crooks" are thought to be behind a string of industrial-sized waste flytippings in south Essex.

Warehouses across Thurrock have been broken into before truck loads of mixed waste has been dumping leaving the owner with clean-up bills running into thousands of pounds.

Several hundred tonnes was dumped in a Grays warehouse last month.

Commerical land has also been targeted across the area.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: "We are investigating several incidents of waste being dumped on vacant commercial land and inside commercial units.

"Locks were cut and changed, obstacles moved, and units and offices entered without the knowledge or permission of the owners or agents.

"These landowners are now faced with bills of tens of thousands of pounds to clear this dumped waste."

Lesley Robertson, Environmental Crime Team Leader at the Environment Agency said: “We’re urging landowners to be vigilant and check any vacant land or units that they many own, rent or manage for signs of fly-tipped waste on a regular basis.”

She added: “Please report any large fly-tipping of waste or any suspicious activity to our free phone incident line 0800 807060. If you witness this type of fly-tipping in progress, please report it to Essex Police immediately.”

Waste crime and large-scale illegal tipping is on the rise as crooks try to avoid heft land filling charges and taxes when it is dumped at legitimate tips.