The Environment Agency has revealed that over a third of illegally dumped waste is from households.
The regulator is now urging homes to avoid illegal waste operators by taking extra care when it comes to disposing of rubbish.
A recent change in the law means that householders found to be knowingly involved in the illegal dumping of waste, could be liable for Landfill Tax or prosecuted alongside the illegal operators, the Agency warned.
It has been found that unlicensed waste operators target householders via social media or local advertising, often “luring” customers with cheaper rates to dispose of unwanted furniture, building rubble or garden waste, the EA explained.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We must all come together to win the fight against waste criminals. We’re doing our part with enforcement action and prosecution, whenever necessary. But we cannot do this alone. Households also have a responsibility to ensure their waste is collected by a responsible operator who will not pollute the environment with waste or cost thousands to clear up and make safe.”
According to the Agency, waste crime is estimated to cost the UK economy £600 million each year. More than 850 new illegal waste sites were discovered by the EA in 2016/17. An average of two illegal waste sites are shut down every day, the EA reports, creating “severe problems” for local communities and businesses.
To avoid contributing to waste crime, the Agency has advised householders to take the following steps:
- Check the waste management operator being used is a registered waste carrier. Registration documents should available on request and should be inspected before services are rendered.
- Get a written receipt/transfer note complete with contact details, a description of waste removed and details of where the waste is being taken to.
- Note down the vehicle type, colour and registration number of the vehicle that’s taking the waste away.
Report suspected waste crime to the EA incident hotline 0800 807060 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.