Skip to content

Cracking down on waste crime

Cllr Michael Brookes and Environment Agency crime reduction officer Paul Cheeseman launch the waste crime crackdown in the atrium at Boston Borough Council's Municipal Building.

People who care about the environment have been asked to step up and help combat those who dump rubbish illegally.

The Environment Agency's crime reduction unit has launched a campaign urging anyone spotting "waste crime" to report it.

Crime reduction officer Paul Cheeseman explained it could be large-scale waste crime, such as hazardous or industrial and commercial waste being dumped illegally, rubbish being illegally shipped abroad or fly-tipping along a country lane.

He said organised criminals were avoiding proper procedure for dealing with often hazardous waste by concealing it inside lawful product to be shipped abroad where it was often not dealt with safely, putting the environment and health and even lives at risk.

Cllr Michael Brookes, Boston Borough Council's waste services portfolio holder, said the cost locally of dealing with fly-tipped rubbish fell on everyone. But he praised the efforts of Operation Fly Swat - a joint-agency partnership using labour from HM Prison North Sea Camp - which collects fly-tipped rubbish throughout Boston borough and South Holland District Council area.

Mr Cheeseman warned local farmers to be wary of any callers offering cash to rent land for "storage". He said some had ended up with piles of rubbish dumped on their land and had never seen the people renting the land again. Rubbish on private land becomes the responsibility of the land owner.

Residents are reminded that their waste is their responsibility - even if they hire someone to take it away for them. Unregistered waste carriers have been known to take cash to dispose of waste, only for it to be found dumped in a ditch close by. If the waste can be traced back to the owner they can be held responsible.

Waste carriers have to be licensed by the Environment Agency. To check if someone is a registered waste carrier, people should ask for their waste carrier number. Contact the Environment Agency on 03708 506506 and ask for a waste carrier validation check. If a contractor is not registered, their services should be refused and a request made that they seek advice from the Environment Agency.

To report fly-tipped rubbish call 01205 366007 or 01205 311112. Maximum penalties for fly tipping are a £50,000 fine and five years imprisonment.