Landowners urged to check their land for illegal waste activity

Land and property owners need to be extra vigilant during this pandemic to avoid being a victim of waste crime, the Environment Agency says.

On Wednesday 3 June the Environment Agency’s West Midlands illegal waste site team joined forces with the Warwickshire Police Rural Crime team to attend an illegal waste site in the Bulkington area of North Warwickshire.

They found the land was being filled with general waste materials and topped off with soil. The land was not permitted to be receiving waste materials of any kind.

At the time of their attendance, officers witnessed two articulated lorries at the site, which were in the process of being unloaded. The officers instructed the drivers to refill the lorries with the waste they had deposited and move off the site. An excavator that was on hire was also repatriated to its owner.

During the visit, police officers also identified and seized a previously stolen piece of plant machinery. An investigation into the illegal waste activity is now under way.

A spokesperson for the illegal waste sites team, said: “There may be a global pandemic affecting the UK but that doesn’t give waste criminals an excuse. We remain committed to reducing waste crime and reducing the opportunities for those operating illegally to do so.

“Land and property owners need to be extra vigilant during this pandemic to avoid being a victim of waste crime. Waste criminals are targeting land and property, they may offer cash to store waste promising to come back and remove it but never do, or, they may dump the waste without the owner’s knowledge.

“We urge owners to check empty land and property regularly and make sure they are secure as any waste stored on their property without the relevant permissions could leave the landowner liable to prosecution and costs to remove the waste.

“Everyone has a part to play to help solve the waste crime problem and make sure waste is managed responsibly. If you pass your waste to someone else to take away for you, you must first check they are registered with the Environment Agency so it doesn’t end up in the hands of operators who break the law.”

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