An independent review into serious and organised waste crime has been published today (Tuesday 14 November). To read Defra’s press release on the report please click here.

Sarah Lee, Head of Policy at Countryside Alliance commented: “The Countryside Alliance welcomes this independent review into ‘serious and organised crime in the waste sector’ and the approach to give the criminals responsible real cause to fear the consequences of their actions. With waste crime costing England £600m a year we must take a co-ordinated approach to tackle this problem and welcome the recommendations in this report as a starting point.

“However, we feel it does not go far enough in tackling issues such as fly-tipping. Two thirds of fly-tipping incidents involve household waste and organised fly-tipping can accumulate into serious crime. It remains the case that fly-tipping is the only crime where those who are the victim of it also have a responsibility to dispose of the waste legally. We believe we must punish the perpetrators and not the victims. If the Government is serious about tackling the scourge of waste crime then they must take on board these recommendations and go one step further by ensuring waste tipped on private land is not the responsibly of the owner.”

The ten recommendations of the report are:

  • The Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC) should be established.
  • Strategic relationships between the Environment Agency and PCCs should be established.
  • The Environment Agency should be equipped with the necessary tools and powers to pursue and disrupt organised crime.
  • Waste sector legislation should be amended to allow for more effective prevention and disruption of organised crime.
  • Mandatory electronic tracking of waste, and a national database of registered brokers, should be introduced at the earliest opportunity.
  • The Environment Agency should be granted full access to relevant police databases.
  • Registration and duty of care requirements for carriers, brokers and dealers should be reformed (including in relation to hazardous waste).
  • Waste producers should be held accountable for the end destination of their waste products.
  • Plans for additional 2018-22 Environment Agency funding should be reviewed to ensure consistency with plans for a Joint Unit for Waste Crime
  • Government should reform funding for the regulation and policing of the waste sector at the earliest opportunity.

The recommendations of the review will now inform a strategic approach to waste crime, which will be published in the government’s forthcoming Resources and Waste Strategy later this year.