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Multi-agency intervention to 'Drive out waste crime'

LSW Multi-agency_700x300

4 October 2018

The LIFE SMART Waste project, led by SEPA, has teamed up with the English, Welsh and Northern Irish environment protection agencies, key enforcement agencies and industry associations to tackle the issue of illegal transportation and disposal of waste.

The movement and transportation of waste is recognised as a key vulnerability within the waste sector and our intelligence indicates that waste is being hauled across national boundaries within the UK for illegal disposal. This can result in environmental damage, social disruption and is estimated to cost the UK economy in excess of £600 million per annum. Waste criminals evade tax payments and profit at the expense of legitimate businesses, undercutting them and competing unfairly.

Following on from an earlier intervention targeting the illegal dumping of waste in derelict warehouses and farm buildings¹, LIFE SMART Waste selected illegal waste haulage as the second of three vulnerabilities to apply the project's Intervention Design Manual (IDM)². Developed for use by environmental regulators, the IDM outlines an innovative approach to designing and implementing interventions, with a strong focus on collaborative design and implementation.

The decision to target the threat posed by waste transportation recognised that most, if not all, illegal waste sites receive waste transported by road. Haulage firms may be used by criminals to transport waste to illegal disposal sites and hauliers may not realise that they could be committing an offence that could leave them liable to fines, prosecution and operational sanctions. Criminals may believe they can escape the law by crossing the border into another jurisdiction. However, with multi-agency partners working together and sharing intelligence across national boundaries, this threat can be mitigated.

In consultation with an ‘expert group’ of industry and enforcement agency representatives, the LIFE SMART Waste project initiated an awareness-raising campaign, supported by multi-agency road checks and site visits, to raise awareness of the illegal waste haulage issue and call upon industry and the public to take action.

Video: Multi-agency action to 'Drive out waste crime' Video: 'Drive out waste crime' campaign

The 'Drive out waste crime' campaign, reminds licensed waste carriers and the broader haulage industry of their waste Duty of Care obligations and responsibilities. The campaign also asks the public to report suspicious activity.

As part of the campaign, information leaflets were published online and printed for distribution to waste carriers. To improve accessibility, the campaign materials were also translated into a selection of European languages.

 Waste crime information leaflet (2018)

LSW waste crime e-leaflet 2018_ENGLISH

The campaign is being supported by the UK’s transport associations and key players in related industries.

For further information about the multi-agency operations, visit the SEPA media centre.


¹ 'Crimestoppers campaign' (December 2017 - February 2018)

² Intervention Design Manual (LIFE SMART Waste, 2017)


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