SEPA appeals for information to tackle illegal waste operators in Renfrewshire


The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is launching a fresh appeal for information as part of an ongoing investigation into waste crime in Johnstone, Renfrewshire.

A large amount of waste has allegedly been deposited at an illegal site in the area.

SEPA officers joined partners from Police Scotland, Revenue Scotland and HMRC on Tuesday 21 February 2023 for a Day of Action, carrying out inspections in the area and appealing to local residents and businesses to report instances of illegal dumping or suspected activity to help shape the ongoing investigation.

Commenting on the appeal, John Higgins, Senior Enforcement Operations Manager at SEPA, said: “We’re asking members of the public to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to us. This could be unusual vehicle movement or activity at unused sites. Landowners should also be alert to the risk of their land or premises being used for illegal waste deposits.

We’re asking members of the public to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to us.

“Not only does waste crime have a serious impact on the environment, communities and legitimate businesses, but it also costs taxpayers tens of millions of pounds a year for clean-ups, avoided tax and lost revenue.

“Criminals involved are resourceful, inventive and will find new ways to break the law – especially when money is involved. But SEPA will continue to adapt as well, working closely with other agencies. We’re also making increased use of technologies to detect criminal activity and build the most accurate picture possible.”

SEPA is also calling on members of the public to support the fight against waste crime by ensuring households and businesses dispose of the waste they produce legally.

While platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree are often used by legitimate service providers, SEPA says it has noted an increase in unregistered waste carriers offering to collect household and industrial waste, usually at a reduced rate.

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