Waste Crime Costs
An Environment Agency report for the year 2012-13 reported the impact that illegal waste businesses are having, and the part we should all play in preventing these harmful and dangerous businesses from prospering.
The Environment Agency successfully closed around 1300 illegal sites and worked with the police to reduce the crime of metal theft by almost 50%. The number of closures last year which includes sites that were converted to comply with the law was markedly increased. In spite of these remarkable figures the problem still continues and new sites open all the time.
When businesses and private individuals are looking for the best deals on waste removal they need to think that if they pass on their waste to people who they know or suspect will not deal with it properly that there will be serious legal, financial and environmental implications.
The attitude of this is “someone else’s problem” has led to a proliferation of casual dumping of highly hazardous waste and household rubbish in our countryside and other locations such as industrial estates, waste land, parks and waterways and vacant properties being a favoured location.
About a quarter of the illegal waste dumped is construction waste from home improvements and building sites
Whilst some may perceive savings, the costs of not using a reputable company to clear their waste is reflected in higher local taxes as councils pick up the bill an estimated £45million every year is spent on clearing up illegally dumped waste.
Please Deal with your waste responsibly
Make sure you deal with your waste responsibly. This will stop those who illegally handle waste from getting away with it. Everyone who disposes of waste has a duty to ensure that it is handled correctly, if you don’t dispose of your waste correctly you risk being prosecuted and fined and if you run a business this could seriously damage your reputation.
Be wary of people or businesses who offer cheap options for waste disposal, it must be removed by a registered waste carrier. Check your carriers registration is valid – call 03708 506 506 or check the public register http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/library/publicregisters/default.aspx
Complete waste transfer notes to document and describe all waste you transfer to someone else (remember you must keep them for two years)
Ensure you store and transport your waste appropriately and securely, don’t let your waste escape and pollute the environment.
Know your responsibilities if you produce, store, transport and dispose of business waste this is your duty of care. Read more in our guidance on duty of care www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/waste/40047
If you’re a householder then any contractor you hire like builders, house clearers, gardeners or skip operators will normally need to be a registered waste carrier to take your waste away
If you own land and rent or lease it to someone who operates an illegal waste facility, you may be considered responsible for the illegal waste, if your made aware of any illegal activity you must take action to deter the activities. You may be subject to enforcement action and could be liable for the cost of clearing the waste, which could run into tens of thousands of pounds
How to report waste crime
If you suspect someone of disposing waste illegally call the EA incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60. If you want to report any information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111