Firms that fail to check whether their waste operator is
properly licensed and disposing of materials legally, could
face fines of up to £10,000 under new UK government
Defra has launched a consultation
on a package of measures designed to introduce tougher penalties
for waste-related crime and crackdown on illegal dumping.
Under the proposals, the maximum fine for duty of care and
waste carrier offences would be doubled - meaning that those
firms that fail to check if their waste operators are correctly
licensed, would be running the risk of a £10,000 fine.
The UK government also proposed a new awareness campaign designed
to make it easier for businesses to comply with the new rules.
Waste operators, meanwhile, would be subject to tougher rules
- including changes that would make it an offence to provide
false information when applying for Environment Agency approval
and the introduction of new powers that would allow local
authorities and the Environment Agency to stop, search and
instantly seize vehicles suspected of being involved in waste
UK Environment Minister Joan Ruddock urged people to respond
to the consultation, arguing that illegal waste dumping represented
a major problem. "There are a large number of rogue operators
claiming to dispose of waste responsibly, but then dumping
it in a public area" - she said. "It is estimated
to cost more than £100m every year to investigate and
clear up illegally dumped waste - a cost that falls to taxpayers
and private landowners."
The move comes in the same week as the UK's Environment Agency
urged firms to check the credentials of their waste operators
after two men were jailed for operating an illegal dumping
operation in London and Essex that saw 14,600 tonnes of commercial
waste dumped at 15 different sites.