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Viridor has welcomed a new report aimed at tackling the £604 million a year cost of waste crime to the industry in England and which calls for effective regulation and enforcement, including the banning of serious and repeat offenders from the sector.
Viridor’s Head of Public Affairs Martin Grey said the Environmental Services Association Educational Trust and Environmental Services Association report, Rethinking Waste Crime, offered a meaningful approach to those issues which allowed waste crime to flourish to England.
Mr Grey added said the waste sector was rapidly evolving and maturing with increased levels of sophistication and professionalism, however, the barriers to industry entry in England currently remained too low, making it vulnerable to criminals who would exploit the system.
This not only damaged the environment, but undermined legally-compliant businesses and threatened the multi-billion pound investment in green infrastructure which England needed.
Mr Grey said that as one of the UK’s leading recycling, resources and renewable energy partners, Viridor had consistently supported smart, targeted, enhanced regulation to tackle non-compliance and fight rising waste crime which threatens the sector’s development and Britain’s economic and environmental interests.
This is in line with the report’s finding that majority of waste crime in England is associated with waste from businesses, not from households. It suggests most serious waste crime falls into one of six categories: illegal waste sites, inaccurately describing waste, illegal export of waste, illegal burning of waste, fly tipping and serious breaches of permit conditions.
Mr Grey pointed out that the waste and resource sector offered world-leading recycling and energy recovery technologies with green jobs for graduates, apprentices and new entrants.
“In order to continue Viridor’s investment in this sector, in new technology and new job opportunities, we need to crack down on those criminals who profit from waste crime and cause misery in our communities through fly-tipping.”
He said the true and shocking cost of waste crime to Britain was emphasised in the report when it was linked to the equivalent cost of building 34 new secondary schools or paying for 4,137 NHS hospital beds per year.
Viridor supported calls for regulations in England to be reviewed as suggested in the report to prevent criminal abuse.