News story

Environment Agency warns landowners to watch out for illegal waste operations

Landowners should be vigilant if leasing their land out to another person or company in case it is being used for illegal waste operations.

Waste site

If waste is left illegally on land, the responsibility for removing it can fall to the landowner or property landlord, leaving them facing significant clean up bills.

Earlier this year the Environment Agency prosecuted a Gloucestershire man for operating an illegal waste site on land that was leased. Despite numerous attempts by Environment Agency officers to get the operator to clean up the site, this was not done and a prosecution followed where the defendant was given an 18 month custodial sentence. The landowner now has to deal with the waste that was left behind.

Martin Quine from the Environment Agency said:

We take waste crime very seriously as it can damage the environment, impact local communities and undercut legitimate businesses. Unfortunately, despite our efforts to get the company responsible to clean up the site in this case, the landowner has been left with the clean up bill.

There are steps landowners can take to avoid this happening, such as carrying out regular inspections and checking that the site users have the correct authorisations in place to carry out the activities they are using the site for. Landowners are also encouraged to report any suspicious waste activity to us early on

To report suspected waste crime you can call the Environment Agency’s 24 hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Published 6 August 2015