It was a busy day for the team who stopped a number of waste carriers to see if they had a permit to carry waste, had the correct duty of care paperwork and were describing the waste they were carrying correctly. Officers also checked whether waste was being transported to authorised and legitimate sites where it would be handled correctly.
Senior Environmental Crime Officer Julia Leigh said:
We had a great response from various waste carriers that were stopped, thanking us for carrying out these road stops as they are frustrated with illegal operators undermining their legitimate businesses. It also gave us an opportunity to remind people of the need to use registered waste carriers and comply with their duty of care.
Multi-agency days of action are a valuable tool in preventing and disrupting waste crime. The Environment Agency want to make it very clear to people that everyone has a duty of care to ensure their waste is managed and disposed of correctly by the people they give it to.
Waste being transported with no authorisations is likely to end up at illegal waste sites. Such sites store waste in vast quantities and for long periods of time posing significant risks to health and the environment, like pest infestations and fires, which could lead to water and land contamination plus air pollution from smoke. Illegal waste sites are often the cause of odour complaints too.
Julia Leigh added:
Everyone, including householders, need to make sure that when they have waste removed that they use a registered waste carrier and ensure there is a waste transfer note for the waste taken. If they don’t they risk being fined £5,000. Illegal operators have been filling up sites and leaving the landowner to pay for the clear-up costs. Depending on what waste has been left the cost of this can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, if not more.
Our enforcement days make sure that the right waste goes to the right place. People who manage waste illegally cost the taxpayer millions every year in clean-up costs. They undercut legitimate business, pose a direct threat to sustainable growth in the waste management sector and take valuable resource from the public sector.