EA fights illegal waste dumping

The Environment Agency is to launch a campaign to deter businesses from dumping waste illegally.

As the landfill tax rises next April, the agency wants to warn businesses not to be tempted by waste contractors who charge a discounted price to take commercial waste and dump it illegally.

The move follows a 40 per cent rise in the number of illegal dumping incidents since 2001, with over 25 per cent of all incidents involving construction or demolition waste.

The campaign has been enabled as a result of a £2m funding boost from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Agency head of news Emer O’Connell said: ‘If we crack down on the illegal trade it will benefit the people doing a legal job. Next year, we will strengthen our drive to get the message to businesses about their legal responsibilities to get rid of their waste properly and how to spot the signs that a middle-man might not be legitimate.’

Businesses must be aware that they can be held responsible if they hire illegal contractors, O’Connell added.

The agency’s ten regional teams will embark on a media relations push encouraging people to report illegal dumping. It will also publicise regional fly-tipping statistics and court cases that have resulted in prosecution.

From April 2005, the tax on the disposal of waste in landfill sites will rise each year in line with European law, with the extra revenue returning to firms through a Business Resource Efficiency and Waste fund.

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