The environment agency has issued a warning to landowners across the country and in particular in the West Midlands to beware of approaches made by fraudulent waste merchants.
According to the environment agency landowners are being approached by “waste criminals” who ask the landowner if they can store waste on their land either baled or loose waste which may later be baled or indeed on the grounds that they want to use the property to store other goods, for example motor vehicles, only to later store waste there.
The storage of baled or any process waste on land without an environmental permit is not allowed and this can leave the landowner subject to criminal prosecution and significant clean up costs.
To add further insult to the duping of landowners the Environmental Agency has confirmed that may landowners are not actually paid by the criminal waste contractors or only paid in part.
This type of activity is putting additional pressure on legitimate waste contractors who simply cannot compete in the market with the criminals.The cost of running a professional business that is compliant and correctly insured means that legitimate businesses are operating with a cost base far in excess of the criminals.
Environmental Manager, Marc Lidderth stated;
Waste companies, local authorities and businesses all have a responsibility to check what happens to their waste. We have specialist teams who work in partnership with the police and agencies like HMRC to tackle waste crime. This specialist crime unit uses intelligence to track and prosecute organised crime gangs involved in illegal waste activity.
The Environment Agency also draws the attention of this illegal practice to plant hirers and transport operators urging them not to become embroiled in these activities by providing services to illegal waste contractors.