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Blitz on illegal waste today

18 Jun 13 A coalition of authorities and organisations has come together for a special one-day blitz on the illegal waste industry today (18 June 2013).

The Environment Agency, the police, the Road Haulage Association, the Association of British Insurers, the Vehicle & Operator Service Agency and Crimestoppers have joined forces to crack down on waste crime.

The aim of the day of action, code name Operation Cyclone, is to disrupt the supply of waste to illegal waste sites, gather intelligence and encourage people to report waste crime.

Environment Agency officers have set up stop and search blockades and are visiting waste sites.

Of the 1175 illegal waste sites known to the Environment Agency at the end of March 2012 the largest number were for construction and demolition waste (32%). There were a significant number of sites involving mixed household or commercial waste (23%) and scrap vehicles and vehicle parts (22%).

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The Environment Agency issued 139 formal cautions relating to waste crime in 2011-2012. Almost 300 successful prosecutions resulted in total fines of £1.6m, with the highest fine being for £100,000.

Environment Agency taskforce manager Steve Townhill said: “Waste crime undermines legitimate business, can cause harm to environment and misery for local people. We will continue to work with our enforcement partners to combine our powers to disrupt illegal waste activity. We urge anyone with information about illegal waste activity to contact our hotline 0800 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Mike Moore from the Road Haulage Association said: “RHA members fully support the aims of the Taskforce in particular the assistance available to legitimate business in levelling the playing field against those who continue to flout the waste carrying and disposal laws and we will continue to support the Environment Agency in its efforts.”

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