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Clampdown on commercial tipping

Date 19 Feb 2007
Author The Editor

Businesses which illegally dump waste in the North East are being targeted by a new government-funded scheme. The Environment Agency has been awarded £155,000 to reduce fly-tipping and to stamp out criminals posing as legitimate waste collection businesses. For the first time, dedicated enforcement teams have been appointed to tackle commercial offenders.

Between April 2005 and March 2006, more than 82,000 incidents of fly-tipping were reported in the North East. Clean-up operations cost taxpayers more than £6m, according to the Environment Agency.

Gerald Lee, campaign manager, said: "We are all paying the price for these crimes because we fund the clearing-up of their mess through our council tax. "Our aim is to target the criminals posing as legitimate waste businesses and to change the behaviour of firms and individuals who are employing these offenders."

By law, all businesses must be registered with the Environment Agency if they carry, collect or dispose household, commercial or industrial waste. Some businesses ignore the legal route to avoid the cost, while others employ firms which say the waste will be disposed of properly but go on to fly-tip it instead. Anyone caught breaking the law could be fined up to £5,000.

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