16 February 2017 by Tom Goulding

Agency warns landowners over illegal waste dumping

The Environment Agency has urged landowners in the North East of England to be vigilant, after 600 bales of residual waste were found dumped on a premises in County Durham last week (10 February).

Officers from the Agency and Durham Police attended the scene, on a former foundry in Tow Law, after being alerted to activities taking place at the site.

Some 600 bales of waste were found illegally dumped at the site last week

The illegal disposal is the latest in a recent spate of dumping across the region, with three separate ongoing investigations relating to eight sites where baled waste has been deposited since summer 2016.

Under environmental regulations, it is the responsibility of landowners and waste producers to ensure waste is being dealt with legally. In many cases, the cost of clearing a site will often fall to the landowner.

Dave Edwardson, Enforcement Team Leader at the Environment Agency in the North East, said: “Landowners can be vulnerable. Waste dumped in vacant buildings or land may leave landowners with the responsibility and costs of disposing of the waste, which can be considerable.

“We’re determined to tackle waste crime such as this; waste that isn’t managed properly can impact on communities, the environment and legitimate businesses and won’t be tolerated.

It is the latest in a spate of illegal waste activities in the region

He added: “I’d urge all landowners, farmers and property agents to be vigilant and report any concerns or anything suspicious to us straight away. Waste producers and road hauliers must ensure they adhere to their Duty of Care when they are managing waste. They can contact the Environment Agency if they need any advice or information.”

Operation Arrow

Further south, the Environment Agency used Valentine’s Day (14 February) to launch a crackdown on illegal waste – named Operation Arrow.

A total of 14 sites across Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and West Berkshire received surprise inspections, where the Agency suspected businesses have been operating without the required environmental permits.

Helen Page, Enforcement Team Leader of the Environment Agency, said: “We are really pleased with what we achieved. Of the 14 sites visited, 5 were found to be operating illegally. The information we have gathered is helping us target our work at those involved in organised environmental crime and where their activities pose the greatest risk to the environment.”

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