Press release

Closing in on illegal vehicle dismantlers in Boston

The Environment Agency and partners are cracking down on illegal vehicle dismantlers and unlicensed scrap metal dealers in Boston.

The Agency, with officers from Lincolnshire County Council and Boston Borough Council, has carried out a third visit to sites in the area, giving operators final warnings and deadlines to comply. Others were invited to attend interviews under caution.

Commercial vehicle dismantling and scrap metal businesses need permits to operate, both from the Environment Agency and planning authorities. When a vehicle has reached the end of its useful life it must be scrapped at an authorised treatment facility.

Environment Agency Enforcement Officer Peter Stark said:

Waste crime can have serious detrimental effects on the environment. We want to support legitimate permitted waste operators – who can lose income to illegal operations – while ensuring there is no harm to people and the environment from sites treating waste vehicles and scrap metal.

We will continue to clamp down on illegal operators, providing advice to those who want to comply and stopping those who flout the regulations. We’re also appealing to landowners to ensure they do not allow illegal activities on sites or land they lease to businesses or individuals.

Waste oil from dismantled vehicles can contaminate land and may have to be excavated and removed for disposal at significant costs to the landowner. It can also pollute groundwater and find its way into drains and rivers.

Waste tyres and interiors from cars are also sometimes abandoned and left for landowners to remove at great cost. It’s important that landowners check before signing a contract with businesses or individuals and ensure the contract complies with regulations.

The Environment Agency is asking the public to inform them of any illegal vehicle dismantlers - reports can be made anonymously via our 0800 807060 incident hotline or to Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

If you are selling your scrap to a collector or yard please ask to see their scrap metal licence, issued by Boston Borough Council, and do not under any circumstances ask for cash; you should be paid by cheque or bank transfer.

If you want to dispose of your old vehicle, ensure it is taken to a permitted site where it can be fully de-polluted without the risk of harming the environment.

Advice and application forms to apply for a scrap metal dealer licence have been provided to operators at all the sites visited. Operators who fail to apply for a scrap metal dealer licence will be subject to enforcement action.

For further information on scrap metal dealers licences, contact Boston Borough Council on 01205 314242.

To find out how to register as a waste carrier, contact the Environment Agency on 03708 506506 or visit the Register or renew as a waste carrier, broker or dealer page on our website.

For advice on operating a waste business, contact the Environment Agency local team on 01522 785344. Details on the permits available can be found at the page Environmental permit: how to apply.

For waste planning advice contact Lincolnshire County Council on 01522 782070 or visit their website.