Last week the Environment Agency took part in a multi-agency day with the Metropolitan Police Commercial Vehicle Unit, DVSA and HMRC Road Fuel Testing Unit in a bid to reduce and disrupt waste crime.
During the day of action, numerous commercial vehicles were checked by each agency including nine carrying controlled waste. Environment Agency officers checked that these operators had a permit to carry waste, had the correct duty of care paperwork and were describing the waste they were carrying correctly and weren’t misdescribing it. 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:
Multi-agency days of action are a valuable tool in preventing and disrupting waste crime. We want to make it very clear to people that everyone, including households, have a duty of care to ensure their waste is managed and disposed of correctly by the people they give it to. If you use illegal waste carriers to take your rubbish, you risk being fined up to £5,000.
Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, said:
DVSA is committed to protecting you from unsafe drivers and vehicles. By combining our enforcement powers and intelligence with that of the Environment Agency, we’re effectively targeting waste operators breaking the rules and putting themselves and other road users at risk. We won’t hesitate to issue fines, or take vehicles off our roads, if we find waste carriers operating in an unsafe manner.
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:
The Environment Agency wants to make sure businesses carrying waste have the proper authorisations to allow them to transport and transfer waste: a waste carrier’s registration from the Environment Agency and waste transfer note from the waste producer.
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, take valuable resource from the public sector, and private land owners can be left with bills running into hundreds of thousands of pounds in clean-up costs. Our enforcement days make sure that the right waste goes to the right place to stop unpermitted businesses undermining legitimate businesses and help create a level playing field.
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For information on how to apply as a waster carrier, broker or dealer, visit: www.gov.uk/waste-carrier-or-broker-registration.
People or businesses who transport, buy, sell or dispose of waste, or arrange for someone else to do so, must be registered. To check if someone is registered, visit: environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers.
To apply for an environmental permit please complete the appropriate form: www.gov.uk/topic/environmental-management/environmental-permits.