2 March 2021 by Robyn White

Surveys launched to assess waste sector regulation  

Two surveys have been launched to assess regulation in the waste industry, and how it can be improved.

The Environment Agency launched a survey yesterday (1 March), which will run until the 22 March, to assess how regulation can be used to “combat” waste crime.

The Environment Agency is launching the survey to improve regulation

The EA is urging people and business impacted by waste crime to take part and give their views through the survey, while Defra is also carrying out a survey as part of a review of the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR).

Waste crime

In particular, the Agency said it wants to hear from those who have experienced “significant inconvenience or financial implications” from waste crime, including farmers, landowners and councils.

The EA also would also like feedback from those operating within the waste sector who have “experienced intimidation or unfair competition” as a result of those operating illegally or beyond their permitted activity, as well as the insurance sector.

It follows recent statistics from the EA the nearly 100 individuals and companies were prosecuted for waste offenses in 2019/20, with fines exceeding £900,000.

The survey has been commissioned by the Environment Agency and is supported by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), Environmental Services Association (ESA), the United Resource Operators Consortium (UROC) and the National Farmers Union (NFU).

‘Clamping down’

Malcolm Lythgo, head of waste regulation at the Environment Agency, said that the Agency wants to ensure regulation increases compliance and co-operation whilst “clamping down harder” on waste criminals.

“We know how frustrating and costly it is for landowners, businesses and organisations who have to deal with illegally dumped waste” – Malcolm Lythgo, Environment Agency

He continued: “We know how frustrating and costly it is for landowners, businesses and organisations who have to deal with illegally dumped waste, and for those operating in the sector who do everything right but see others breaking the rules to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors, often at a cost to the environment and the waste sector as a whole.

“As England’s waste regulator it’s vital that we know the views of our customers and those affected by waste crime, and I strongly encourage everyone to complete our new survey to share your views and experiences.”


Meanwhile, Defra’s voluntary survey, open until 14 March, seeks information about whether regulations are achieving the desired benefits, and also asks businesses to give views on how to reduce administrative costs.

Defra said that this is to provide evidence for the periodic review of the EPR which is required by the Regulations in England.

Useful links

Environment Agency National Waste Crime Survey 

Defra survey Environemtal Permitting Regulations 



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