Environment Agency investigating illegal waste sites operating in central and north Wiltshire
The Environment Agency has been investigating illegal waste activities in central and north Wiltshire. They have identified landowners running waste sites illegally, accepting waste and scrap metal without the necessary permits and environmental protections. Waste is processed and burnt, creating fire risk, harming the environment and a health hazard to nearby residents. This is criminal activity.
The waste coming onto these sites is likely to be originating in the surrounding area, from waste carriers, construction businesses, tradesman, landscapers and gardeners. In all cases, these businesses generate or remove waste as part of their operations and then dispose of it illegally to cut costs.
If you are a business owner or householder in the area having renovations or other maintenance work done, it could be your waste that is being disposed of in this way. Whilst you are paying your contractor to deal with your waste safely and legally, they are getting rid of it illegally and on the cheap.
You can stop this from happening by understanding your waste duty of care. Anyone who produces waste at home or from a business has a duty of care to take all reasonable steps to make sure it is disposed of legally and safely. There are a few main ways to do this:
· Check for a waste carrier’s licence. Anyone removing waste for you, tradesman or waste carrier, should be registered with the Environment Agency and be able to provide you with their licence details. You can check these online or by calling the Environment Agency (details below).
· Ask where they will be disposing of your waste. They should be taking it to a commercial waste transfer station where it will be professionally processed.
· Get a receipt, invoice or waste transfer note for waste being removed on your behalf. Do not accept unsolicited offers to dispose of waste and beware of prices that seem too good to be true. They will be. A commercial transfer station could charge up to £150 per tonne of waste.
Any legitimate carrier will be happy to provide you with this information. If they’re not, don’t let them take your waste away. If your waste is illegally disposed of and you are found not to have met your duty of care, you could be fined.
How to check waste carrier licence details
Online: search ‘waste carriers public register’ or go to: https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers
Call the Environment Agency contact centre tel. 03708 506 506
Reporting waste crime
If you believe someone is running an illegal waste operation you can contact the Environment Agency incident hotline on tel. 0800 80 70 60 to report it or report anonymously through Crimestoppers on tel. 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
More guidance on waste duty of care can be found online at gov.uk – search ‘waste duty of care code of practice’.