News story

Better co-ordination to stop illegal waste carriers

The Environment Agency and DVSA will share intelligence and carry out operations to stop illegal waste carriers and improve road safety.

Environment Agency and DVSA staff check the details of a waste carrier

The Environment Agency and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have agreed on steps to stop illegal waste carriers and improve road safety in England.

Sir James Bevan, Environment Agency Chief Executive, and Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, signed an agreement today (12 September 2017) in London.

How being a waste carrier works

Companies must register as a waste carrier if they:

  • transport waste
  • buy, sell or dispose of waste

However, some carriers operate illegally without the necessary licence, and don’t dispose of waste legally.

Companies who use a waste carrier must check they’re registered to dispose of waste, and not allow the waste carrier to dispose of their waste illegally.

Every year waste crime costs taxpayers and businesses £1 billion. The Environment Agency spent almost £15 million stopping illegal waste activity between April 2015 and March 2016.

What the agreement will do

The Environment Agency and DVSA will share intelligence and carry out joint operations in England to:

  • stop waste being illegally transported
  • target unsafe drivers and vehicles

The agreement will see:

  • DVSA staff working within Environment Agency teams, making sure enforcement action is coordinated and effective
  • information and intelligence shared between the 2 agencies, increasing the effectiveness of roadside enforcement activity on waste industry vehicles
  • enforcement teams provided with up-to date and relevant intelligence about waste industry operators
DVSA traffic examiner inspects a waste carrier
A DVSA traffic examiner inspects a waste carrier

This will all help to:

  • identify high-risk or illegal goods vehicle operators who are involved in the transport of waste
  • reduce the number of seriously and serially non-compliant waste industry vehicles on England’s roads

Report unsafe operators

You can report any information you have about unsafe vehicle operators to DVSA.

DVSA intelligence team

Report vehicle operators or lorry, bus and coach drivers breaking safety rules and laws.

Monday to Friday, 7:30am to 6pm.

Building on years of joint work

Staff from the Environment Agency and DVSA in London
Sir James Bevan and Gareth Llewellyn (right) talk to Environment Agency and DVSA staff at a joint operation in London

For a number of years, the Environment Agency and DVSA have worked together to stop waste crime, making sure companies are operating legally and vehicle safety is improved.

Gareth Llewellyn said:

DVSA priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles.

I am delighted that we will be working with the Environment Agency to tackle those who illegally transport waste. By combining our enforcement powers and intelligence we’ll be able to target those who break the rules more effectively.

DVSA traffic examiners will issue fines to those waste carriers we find to be operating in an unsafe manner. These operators are putting themselves and other road users at risk and pose a danger to our environment.

Sir James Bevan said:

We want to protect people and communities from the impact that vehicle and waste crime can have and create a level playing field for all operators.

This memorandum of understanding with DVSA will help both organisations target the waste industry to improve compliance and vehicle and driver safety standards.

To help us with this, we are encouraging people to check with the Environment Agency if the company they are employing to take their waste away is a fully registered waste carrier.

Published 12 September 2017