Illegal waste activity costs England £1bn a year and more than 1,000 illegal waste sites were discovered last year, more than in the previous two years combined, with 662 still active as of the end of March!
Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, in a recent interview by The Guardian, explained that “Waste is the new narcotics. It feels to me like drugs felt in the 1980s: the system hadn’t quite woken up to the enormity of what was going on and was racing to catch up…With drugs it took a while for the system to catch up and realise the damage drugs were doing. We are clear now about the damage waste crime does to communities and to the economy…It attracts criminals because you can make a lot of money…The business model is very simple: you lease or find a bit of land, you then go and offer to remove skip loads of waste for a customer, which you dump on the land. All your money is made up front, in cash, and then you disappear.”
In the 2012-2013 Waste Crime Report, the Environment Agency revealed that “Between April 2012 and March 2013, we stopped nearly 1,300 illegal waste sites – mainly by closing them, but also in some cases by bringing them into regulation. On average that’s one every 90 minutes of our working week – our best performance yet”.
Read the very interesting interview of Sir James Bevan here.