11 September 2020 by James Langley

EA misses 2019/20 illegal waste site targets

The Environment Agency missed targets for reducing the number of high-risk illegal waste sites in the 2018/19 financial year.

The public body today (11 September) published a corporate scorecard for the fourth quarter of 2019/20, covering 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020.

The Environment Agency says the number of active high-risk illegal waste sites fell from 255 in Q3 to 233 in Q4

While the scorecard shows the number of active high-risk illegal waste sites fell from 255 in Q3 to 233 in Q4, this remains well above the target of 196 the Agency had hoped to meet by the end of the financial year.

The total number of all active illegal waste sites of which the Agency is aware has fallen to 536.

The scorecard reads: “In quarter four the number of total active sites has reduced by 51 and the total high-risk active sites has reduced by 22 nationally. At 536, for all sites, we have the lowest number of active sites since quarter three in 2016/17 and the total number of active high-risk sites is the lowest it has been since quarter four in 2013/14.

“It is too soon to understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the latter part of quarter four figures”

Environment Agency

“The continued downward trend across most areas reflects the continued benefits of those additional staff funded by the £30 million for waste crime. However, in quarter four other pressures, especially the significantly wet weather, affected our ability to direct enough resource to this work.

“It is too soon to understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the latter part of quarter four figures. This will become more apparent when the figures are available for quarter one 2020/21.”

The Agency keeps a database of known illegal waste sites, of which it has become aware through investigations, reports or other means.

Corporate scorecard

The corporate scorecard is reported every three months to executive directors and the board within the Environment Agency. The figures shown use initial quarterly data which is subject to change.

The Agency uses a traffic light system to show how it is performing. Green means it is performing at or above the targets set, amber means is falling slightly short and red means there are improvements to be made.

For the 2019/20 financial year the Agency awarded itself a red for reducing the number of high-risk illegal waste sites. A red rating corresponds to being more than 10% off a target.

Letsrecycle.com reported the Agency looked set to miss its targets following the publication of the Q2 data in July (see letsrecycle.com story).


Conference

Waste Crime will be on the agenda at the Virtual Waste Crime Conference, to be held on the 22 October. More information can be found here.

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