Over the last 12 months the Environment Agency has seen an increase in illegal waste activity across Bristol, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.
The first of these events took place on Tuesday 21 November 2017. Environment Officers visited 15 locations in the Bristol, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire area. They confirmed 6 illegal waste sites and found a number of unauthorised waste disposal activities, including waste being burnt.
Tackling waste crime is a top priority for the Environment Agency. Waste stored or disposed of without the proper environmental controls can have a huge impact on the environment, polluting watercourses, land and underground aquifers, and in some cases contributing to flooding. It is often an eyesore that attracts further dumping, while creating issues for neighbours such as smells and pests. The Environment Agency is determined to make life hard for criminals and to support legitimate businesses by disrupting the criminal element and taking tough enforcement action.
Andy Hicklin, Environment Agency Area Environment Manager for Wessex area, said:
Waste crime is a blight on communities and the environment and undermines legitimate business. Acting on reports from members of the public, days of action are just the first step in tackling waste crime. We will work with our partners in local authorities and use all of the tools at our disposal to disrupt, prevent and stop illegal waste activity.
The Environment Agency is asking members of the public to be vigilant; to contact them with information on anything suspicious. Illegal treatment and disposal of waste is a crime that blights lives and communities and damages the environment. Individuals involved in this type of illegal activity can be hostile and we would urge members of the public to avoid any direct contact with the culprits.
If you see or suspect illegal waste activities, report it anonymously to Crimestoppers or call 0800 555 111 or via the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.