People and businesses impacted by waste crime are being urged to give their views to the Environment Agency through a new survey which will aid its fight against criminal waste activity.
Launched yesterday (Monday 1 March), the waste crime survey will assess how the waste industry, local communities and associated sectors are impacted by waste crime and how regulation can be used more effectively to combat it.
In particular, the Agency wants to hear from those who have been victims of waste crime – including farmers, landowners and councils – and have experienced significant inconvenience or financial implications. The EA also would like feedback from those operating within the waste sector who have experienced intimidation or unfair competition as a result of those operating illegally or beyond their permitted activity, as well as the insurance sector.
Malcolm Lythgo, Head of Waste Regulation at the Environment Agency, said: “Protecting our customers and local communities lies at the heart of what we do at the Environment Agency. We want to ensure that our regulation of the waste sector increases compliance and co-operation whilst clamping down harder on those who show complete disregard for both the environment and those operating legitimately.
We want to ensure that our regulation of the waste sector increases compliance and co-operation whilst clamping down harder on those who show complete disregard for both the environment and those operating legitimately.
“We know how frustrating and costly it is for landowners, businesses and organisations who have to deal with illegally dumped waste, and for those operating in the sector who do everything right but see others breaking the rules to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors, often at a cost to the environment and the waste sector as a whole.
“As England’s waste regulator it’s vital that we know the views of our customers and those affected by waste crime, and I strongly encourage everyone to complete our new survey to share your views and experiences.”
In 2019/20, the EA prosecuted nearly 100 individuals and companies for waste crime offences, with fines exceeding £900,000, 28 custodial sentences and £1million of confiscation orders.
Between 2017 and 2020, the Agency also stopped illegal waste activity at 2,700 sites, with 191 prosecutions and 39 prison sentences being handed down. It also issued fines of over £1.1 million for illegal waste sites and £5.5 million in Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation orders.
The survey has been commissioned by the Environment Agency and is supported by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), Environmental Services Association (ESA), the United Resource Operators Consortium (UROC) and the National Farmers Union (NFU).
The survey is available here and will be open until Monday 22 March.