Waste activities in UK’s North East rack up costs of £750,000

30th November 2017


Illegal waste activities have cost the North East of England upwards of £750,000 in fines, charges and clean-up costs.

The bulk of the charges originate from illegal dumping of waste in fields and empty commercial properties. The bill is then picked up by the unfortunate owners of the land used, and so the Environment Agency is concentrating its efforts on raising awareness of the risks criminals are posing.

Approximately 4,000 commercial properties are thought to be empty in the North East, and owners of properties and land are advised to make regular checks to ensure security. Furthermore, landlords should take extra care to check tenants, new and prospective.

Meanwhile, a Sunderland firm has landed itself a £14,700 fine for contributing to the dumping of 585 tonnes of waste, unlawfully.

Thompson Waste Ltd runs a waste transfer station, located in Hendon. The company hired a local man, at a low cost, to remove waste from its sites. This breached duty of care legislation and the responsibility to check that the waste was being taken to the permitted destination. It cost the landlords of the site where the waste was dumped more than £100,000 to clean up.

A further investigation of a company based in Pallion, Sunderland, for similar offences is due to take place next year.

Waste crime diverts as much as £1 billion per annum from legitimate business and the treasury. Since April 2011 the Environment Agency has invested £65.2 million nationally to address it, according to its website.

The Environment Agency has appealed to the public and businesses to report suspected illegal waste activity, citing environmental pollution, fire risks and health and safety dangers as a few of the many issues attached to illegal waste.

Image credit: Alamy

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