Environment Agency partners with ESA to tackle waste crime

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Verhaftung (Foto: ©Paul-Georg-Meister /http://www.pixelio.de)

London, UK — The UK Environment Agency has partnered with the Environmental Services Association (ESA). In a round table meeting they discused ways of continuing to strengthen ties to raise standards across the sector and tackle waste crime. According to ESA, over £600 million is lost every year by the waste industry and taxpayer due to businesses flouting regulations and disposing or storing waste illegally.

The aim of the new partnership is to utilise the industry’s technical expertise to assist the development of effective regulation so the EA can focus its resources where they will have the biggest impact. Both organisations agreed some key priorities including:

  • The need to refresh the approach to regulation by sharing key challenges, e.g. waste fires, and agreeing how best to tackle them using the combined resources of the EA and the best performing operators
  • A system of earned recognition in the sector enabling the EA to focus resources on the poorest performing sites and waste criminals who ignore their obligations and pollute the environment and harm local communities
  • Sharing intelligence and taking tough action against those who pass their waste on to illegal operators failing to deliver their Duty of Care. Waste crime often occurs at the end of a supply chain where there have been failures in Duty of Care by those at the beginning
  • Improving technical competence in the waste sector – working with Government to ensure that waste is only handled by suitably trained personnel at sites operated by companies with sufficient financial reserves to meet their obligations

On the day, Environment Agency`s Chief Executive Sir James Bevan stated: „I’m extremely pleased to be strengthening our relationship with the Environmental Services Association to raise standards across the sector and fight waste crime. We want to work with responsible operators to deliver more targeted regulations and but also focus our resources on hitting the worst offenders which is good news for legitimate businesses, the economy and local communities. In addition, a more proactive approach to duty of care will plug weaknesses in the supply chain and prevent waste from leaking into the hands of criminals.“

There’s still a long way to go but others round the table praised the approach. Dr Stewart Davies of the Environmental Services Association underlined: „At a time when waste crime seems more entrenched than ever, it is vital that the regulator is able to trust ESA Members to do the right thing and focus its resources on criminals and poor performing operators. The industry is an excellent source of technical expertise which will be made available to help the Agency deliver its objectives. This is a fine example of regulatory best practice which can be an example to other sectors.“

Source: Environment Agency