The Environment Agency has warned small businesses not to give their rubbish to illegal waste operators. The warning came after a van used to dump waste illegally in Berkshire was seized and crushed by the agency.
The van was destroyed as part of a continuing criminal investigation into the large scale dumping of commercial waste.
Helen Hancock, an enforcement officer with the agency in Berkshire, said that any business has a “legal responsibility to safely contain and legally dispose of any waste produced”.
She added: “Using illegal waste dealers may seem tempting in terms of cost, but it can help fund organised crime. All businesses have a responsibility for their commercial waste and if your waste is found on an illegal site you could be facing fines at court.”
The advice reinforces the legal position which means that anybody employing a waste disposal haulier needs to ensure that they are using a legitimate carrier. If not, both the illegal operator and the firm disposing of the waste can be prosecuted.
The Environment Agency has closed two illegal dumping sites a day on average in the past year, and seized a number of vehicles connected with waste crime throughout the UK.