£2 million boost for fly tipping crackdown

A "zero tolerance" programme against fly tippers worth £2 million has been unveiled this week by the Environment Agency (EA) as the latest in a string of recent attempts to crackdown on anti social behaviour.

Paid for by increases in the landfill tax, the project will focus on putting a stop to illegal dumping and fly tipping all the way down the waste chain, from businesses that flout the law and turn a blind eye to where their rubbish goes, to the dumpers themselves.

According to figures from the EA, rubbish is dumped illegally somewhere in the UK every 35 seconds, and costs around £100 per minute to clean up.

The crackdown will initially focus on Stoke-on-Trent, Preston and somewhere in southern England that has yet to be identified, and in each case, enforcement officers will:

  • Target information to help businesses keep within the law when disposing of their waste, and understand that they can be held responsible if their rubbish ends up being dumped illegally
  • Work with police, local magistrates and local authorities to enforce "zero tolerance" fly tipping zones
  • Launch an online version of the EA's database showing who is authorised to carry waste in England and Wales

    "The database will allow businesses and members of the public to be sure that traders are registered and legal before paying them to take away rubbish," head of waste strategy at the EA Martin Brocklehurst stated. "No-one will have an excuse for giving rubbish to an unauthorised operator, and we will be coming down hard on any businesses caught doing so."

    From April 2005, the tax on disposing of waste in landfill sites will rise each year, with the extra revenue going back to business through the Defra-managed Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) fund, worth £43 million over the 2005/06 period alone.

    "The money we have received from the Government is a welcome boost," Mr Brocklehurst added. "This will be good for legitimate business, will improve the environment and enable us to tackle those who break the law."

    By Jane Kettle

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