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1,000 new illegal waste sites discovered every year

illegal waste sites
Finding and closing down illegal waste sites is is critical to the well being of our industry - 20% of those sites found were handling ELVs and parts.

That’s what the Environment Agency’s 2015 Sustainable Business Report shows. It also show that they stopped nearly 1,000 sites but it shows the size of the operation that’s involved to keep a lid on the illegal operator.


The report suggests that while the EA seems to be more efficient in closing down illegal waste sites, 1000 new illegal sites are being discovered per year. Total fines arising from the prosecution of companies involved in waste activities increased by 85% compared to 2014. Between 2014 and 2015 the number of:
  • permitted waste facilities increased by 2%
  • serious pollution incidents caused by permitted waste sites decreased by 36%
  • poor performing permitted waste sites has fallen by 20%
  • persistently poor performing waste sites has fallen by 6%
  • sites of high public interest decreased by 53%


In 2015 to 2016, the EA:
  • ‘found’ over 1,000 new illegal waste sites
  • ‘stopped’ nearly 1,000 illegal waste sites, more than in the previous 2 years
  • ‘stopped’ more than 50% of new illegal waste sites within 90 days; more than ever before
  • inspected 1,388 containers prior to export, compared with 167 in 2012 to 2013


We have to remember that waste sites covers far more than end of life vehicile processing which made up 20% of the total. That puts illegal activities in our sector in the top three types of waste found (which make up two thirds of the total) at illegal sites in 2015 to 2016. These were:
  • household and commercial waste;
  • end-of-life vehicles;
  • construction and demolition waste.


MVDA told atfProfessional that they were pleased that increased Government funding is starting to allow the EA to pay more attention to tackling waste crime but the fact that nearly 1000 new illegal sites are being found every year is indicative of the scale of the problem. So far in 2016, MVDA has reported nearly 500 suspected illegal vehicle dismantlers and is of the view this is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’. To date, MVDA has seen little evidence of any significant effort in the illegal ELV sector. So tackling waste crime must remain a priority for Government and regulators. You can see the full report here here.

October 2016

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