A record number of illegal rubbish tips and dumping grounds were shut down last year as part of a war on rogue operators who blight the countryside.
The Environment Agency today publishes its “waste crime report 2013”, which reveals that 1,279 unsanctioned waste sites were closed down last year, the equivalent of 25 a week. This marks a 70 per cent increase in closures on the previous year.
As well as affecting the business of legitimate waste disposal sites, these illegal operations pose a threat to the environment, with waste often being incinerated or buried without the correct environmental safeguards in place.
Ed Mitchell, the director of environment and business at the Environment Agency, said: “Waste crime puts people and the environment at risk, and undermines the legitimate waste industry.
“We are taking tough action to deal with this problem, through the improved use of intelligence and stronger partnerships with the police and other enforcement bodies. The two-year Illegal Waste Sites Taskforce has been hugely successful in slashing the number of illegal waste sites operating in England.”
Without regulation from environmental health services, these sites can have a knock-on effect on nearby communities, causing fly infestations, blow-overs of acrid smoke and pollution of water.