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Follow-up visits after clamp-down

Scrap dealers in the Boston area have received follow-up visits, following a swoop on them in March, to drive home the message that illegal trading could cost them a £5,000 fine.

The joint Boston Borough Council, Lincolnshire County Council and Environment Agency exercise saw sites visited to check that the scrap dealers were complying with new rules to ensure that scrap metal processing and vehicle dismantling takes place in ways which do not damage the environment.

The most recent visits resulted in two dealers being issued with enforcement letters and licence application forms. One was compliant. One site is in the process of submitting an application form. A final site was visited following intelligence received and appropriate advice was given.  Future enforcement action will be taken against an operator who has been given advice regarding applying for a licence but has failed to act upon this advice. The maximum fine upon conviction for an offence of operating as a scrap metal dealer without a licence is £5,000.  

Businesses were inspected in March and provided with advice on how to comply with the law. 

Commercial vehicle dismantling and scrap metal businesses need permits to operate, both from the Environment Agency and planning authorities. When a vehicle has reached the end of its useful life it must be scrapped at an authorised treatment facility. 

Environment Agency Enforcement Officer, Peter Stark said: "We are acting on the promise to ensure there is no harm to people and the environment from sites treating waste vehicles and scrap metal.

"We have done follow-up visits and hand delivered application forms for environmental permits for breaking and dismantling vehicles. We have given operators final deadlines and will take enforcement action against those that don't comply. 

"We will continue to engage with illegal operators, provide advice to those that want to comply and stop those that flout the regulations."

The Environment Agency appeals to the public to inform them of any illegal vehicle dismantlers - reports can be made anonymously via the 0800 807060 incident hotline or to Crimestoppers. 

If you are selling your scrap to a collector or yard please ask to see their scrap metal licence, issued by Boston Borough Council, and do not under any circumstances ask for cash; you should be paid by cheque or bank transfer. 

If you want to dispose of your old vehicle, ensure it is taken to a permitted site where it can be fully de-polluted without the risk of harming the environment.

For further information on Scrap Metal Dealers licences, contact Boston Borough Council on 01205 314242.

For further information on how to register as a waste carrier, contact the Environment Agency on 03708 506506,

For advice on operating a waste business, contact the Environment Agency local team on 01522 785344. Details on the permits available can be found on our website - - by searching under scrap metal dealers' licence.

For waste planning advice contact Lincolnshire County Council, 01522 782070,