Illegal waste site found in Rutland
The largest one-day sting operation ever carried out by Environment Agency officers in Lincolnshire, Rutland and Northamptonshire has confirmed 11 illegal waste sites across the area.
Officers found 6 sites where waste had been burnt, a further 3 containing construction and demolition waste, one containing household waste, and one scrapyard – all were operating illegally.
The confirmed illegal sites were found in: Lincoln, Skellingthorpe, Brigg, Boston, Mablethorpe, Wisbech, Peterborough, Wellingborough and Lyddington (Rutland).
Furniture, plastic, insulation, car parts, fuel containers, chimney-sweeping equipment and even a lawn mower and skis were among the items discovered.
A total of 28 sites were visited by officers; of them 17 were found to be operating within the law. The 11 sites which weren’t will now receive written guidance from the Environment Agency clarifying the steps they must take, and follow-up visits will be arranged to make sure the site operators comply.
Mark Rumble, Enforcement team leader with the Environment Agency, said: “Yesterday’s successful sting means that, thanks to intelligence from local communities, we found 11 sites where we can now take action to put a stop to activities that blight our neighbourhoods, our environment and our economy.
“Also, it’s encouraging that so many of the sites we visited were not breaking the law, and we continue to offer support to operators who abide by the rules.
“We take waste crime extremely seriously and will be following up every single illegal site we found to bring them in line with the law. We’ll also continue to monitor local reports, so if you have information about suspicious waste activity, report it to us by calling 0800 80 70 60.”
Evidence gathered from the visits will be used against those breaking the law. Further enforcement action could include work with our partners such as local authorities, police and HMRC to prevent and disrupt crime, the serving of notices to have waste removed from land, and prosecution of offenders. If convicted of illegal waste activity, offenders face unlimited fines and up to 5 years in prison.
Illegal waste activity is estimated to have cost more than £600m in 2015 in England alone.
Over recent years, the Environment Agency says it has made great strides in tackling waste crime.
Between 2011 and 2017 it stopped over 5400 illegal waste sites. An average of 2 illegal waste sites are shut down each day.
In November 2018, the Government published an independent review into Serious and Organised Waste Crime which is available on gov.uk.
Suspected illegal waste activity should be reported to the Environment Agency’s 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60, to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or to the police by dialling 101.
More information on the requirements for disposing of business or commercial waste can be found on gov.uk.