The Environment Agency teamed up with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), HM Revenue and Customs Road Fuel Unit and Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN).
The DVSA stopped a number of vehicles and together with officers from the Environment Agency checked compliance to identify rogue traders in the waste carrier industry.
The operation targeted vehicle drivers who transport waste without the proper authorisation or written description of waste. Environment crime officers also checked whether carriers were transporting waste to authorised and legitimate sites where it would be processed correctly.
Waste being transported with no authorisations is likely to end-up at unregulated sites. Such sites store waste in vast quantities and for long periods of time posing significant risks to health and the environment, like 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.
Senior Environmental Crime Officer, Gill Clayton said:
The Environment Agency wants to make sure businesses carrying waste have the correct 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. Everyone who disposes of waste has a Duty of Care to ensure their waste is managed and disposed of correctly by the people they give it to.
DVSA Head of Enforcement, Andy King said:
DVSA’s first priority is road safety and to protect the public from unsafe drivers and vehicles.
This joint operation in conjunction with the Environment Agency sends a clear message that robust action will be taken against those who flout the rules and risk the lives of other road users.
The vast majority of drivers and operators are following the rules and are playing their part in making roads safer.
However, anyone who fails to meet the standards or comply with the rules faces a range of sanctions and, ultimately, prosecution.
Gill Clayton added:
People who manage waste illegally do not invest in appropriate safeguards. They undercut legitimate business, and pose a direct threat to sustainable growth in the waste management sector. Our enforcement days make sure that the Right Waste goes to the Right Place to stop a few businesses undermining legitimate businesses and help create a level playing field.
Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN) Coordinator for London Region said:
Working in partnership, sharing intelligence lawfully and efficiently, the GAIN aims to ensure that government agencies along with police will help reduce serious and organised crime, protect the environment in the most cost effective way. Today’s action is an excellent example of adopting a multi-agency approach.
Notes to editor
Information on how to apply as a waster carrier, broker or dealer is on GOV.UK.
People or businesses who transport, buy, sell or dispose of waste, or arrange for someone else to do so, must be registered. You can check if someone is registered.