Bury St Edmunds is one of the areas with highest concentrations of toxic landfills as Suffolk revealed to be home of 22 poisonous tips
Bury St Edmunds is known for its ancient ruins, medieval grid, and a murdered martyr, but another part of its history could come back to haunt it.
A new report has claimed that Bury, and its surrounding villages, has one of the highest concentrations of toxic landfills in England.
With 10 toxic tips in the almost 100 sq km district there is one site every 9.95 sq km, which would mean it has the ninth highest proportion for any in the country.
Some 1,286 sites in England and Wales containing hazardous waste were identified by environmental trade magazine ENDS Report, with Suffolk being home to 22 of them.
These could pose a health risk to people and the environment as the toxic waste escapes into the surrounding air, water, soil and vegetation.
Old tips contain substances which are now banned or restricted, like asbestos or extremely toxic chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyl.
As well as the former St Edmundsbury area's toxic tips, Ipswich also made the top 20 according to further research by Uswitch.com.
It had the sixteenth highest concentration of poisonous dumps for any district in England, and with three toxic tips in the area had one for every 13.43 sq km.
Will Owen, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: "The shockingly high number of toxic landfills scattered across the country highlights the variety of problems these landfills can cause.
"It is down to the local authorities to help identify them and organise clean-up. Some of these older landfills haven't been lined before the waste was deposited, unlike modern landfills, which means that the chemicals can escape."
Across the country, according to ENDS Report, some 35 per cent lie under green spaces, while 21 per cent are beneath farmland.
Some 15 per cent are under industrial sites, 10 per cent under parks, nine per cent under housing estates, and four per cents under commercial sites like shops or restaurants, assuming they were not removed during development.