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16 January 2019
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Waste crime is on the rise

7 November 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal

Waste crime costs the UK £560 million each year, according to research.


The report Waste Crime – Britain’s Dirty Secret by the Environmental Services Association, the organisation representing waste professionals, says waste crime takes many different forms, from builders fly-tipping rubble on country roads to illegal waste sites processing thousands of tonnes of waste and operators deliberately misclassifying waste to evade millions in tax.


Local authorities are cracking down heavily on waste crime, with on-the-spot fines for fly-tipping (totalling about £750,000 a year in England alone) and by pursuing prosecutions of ‘waste owners’ who allow their waste to be dumped illegally, says the study.


The group’s recommendations include: enforcement of waste crime by the Environment Agency; structural problems with the waste market; lack of knowledge/awareness of businesses and individuals handing over waste; and ineffective sentencing delivered by the courts.


Robert Logan, managing director of waste management firm Waste Cost Reduction Services, said: “Waste crime is now sadly endemic in our country, and we all have a duty of care and responsibility to dispose of waste compliantly.


“It is important that facilities managers and businesses as a whole partner with a reliable, compliant and experienced waste management provider, fully committed to the circular economy, carrying the correct and appropriate licences and able to provide full traceability and compliance along every step of the process.”