The Environment Agency has set up an environmental taskforce that will have £5m to help tackle illegal scrapyards and other rule breaking waste sites. Charlotte Reid has more.
The taskforce will work on clamping down on around 600 illegal waste sites. These waste sites are unlicensed scrapyards, tyre dumps and landfill sites.
Environment minister, Lord Taylor, explained that these waste sites “do untold damage to the environment and cause misery for local people that have to live with toxic fumes, noise at all hours and unbearable smells”.
Recently, the Environment Agency prosecuted and fined a Leicestershire company for illegally burning waste which was having a bad effect on the air quality in the area because of the smoke.
The taskforce will be comprised of 90 members of staff, some of which will be former police detectives, and will have £5m for the first two years.
“We are cracking down on those sights that blight our communities and will work with the police and other partners to bring the criminals behind them to justice”, said Lord Taylor.
The aim of the taskforce is to tackle criminals who run these sites, which the agency says, are usually used to fund other criminal activities as well.
Whilst it is commendable to stop criminals from doing further damage to our environment, there is another way of stopping these criminals in their tracks by creating less waste in the first place.
Although the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has reported an increase in the amount that is recycled across England, it is still the case that some people find the variety of recycling labels confusing. So we recommend RecycleNow’s website which has a handy guide to show you what you can recycle where you live.