CIWM and leading legal firm Dentons have joined forces to launch a new guide to provide UK businesses with a better understanding of the cost and impact of waste crime, and how to ensure they are not part of the problem.
“Waste crime is now a major issue in the UK, and comes at an economic and environmental cost to UK businesses, taxpayers, and local communities,” explains CIWM chief executive Steve Lee. “The substantial rewards that can be realised through illegal waste activities, coupled with challenging enforcement conditions and reduced funding for UK regulators, are factors contributing to a problem that is estimated to cost the UK around £568m through loss of revenue for legal waste sites, landfill tax evasion, and the clean-up costs of fly-tipping.”
The guide, entitled “Fighting waste crime: the real impact of waste crime on your organisation“, draws on the expertise of senior regulators, lawyers and brand reputation experts. It explains in clear language the Duty of Care responsibilities that apply to everyone when dealing with waste, as well as other areas of regulatory compliance. It also details the criminal liabilities, financial penalties and reputational issues that can result from being involved in waste crime.
“With research suggesting that over half of UK businesses are not complying with their Duty of Care, we hope this guide will serve as a timely resource,” a Dentons spokesperson said.
Writing in the guide, Dentons’ partner, Sam Boileau; and senior associate, Eleanor Reeves, said: “There is a perception that the overriding principle of firm but fair regulation that underpins the Environment Agency’s enforcement approach is not consistently applied. Waste operators can experience an inconsistent approach by regulators when comparing their own facilities, or the site next door with a dreadful compliance record but where little or no enforcement action is taken.
“To be effective, regulators should adopt an approach to enforcement that is consistent, firm and fair. In practice, this means adhering more closely to the Environment Agency’s regulation and enforcement principles and having the right KPIs in place to ensure a consistent application of these principles.”
Also featured are communications and PR expert, Paul Davison of Proteus PR; Alan Holmes, senior advisor, Waste Stream Assessment, Environment Agency; former Defra lead on waste regulation & crime, John Galvin MBE; and George Hadfield, contract delivery manager for Co-op Estates, Co-op Group.