Facts and figures on waste crime and some of our key successes.
Illegal waste sites
- There were 1175 active illegal waste sites at 1 April 2012.
This number has increased since last year. Our new dedicated taskforce to tackle illegal waste sites, which we launched in December 2011, will help us to reduce their numbers in the long term. Phase one of the project collected and checked information to develop our intelligence picture. As suspected, we have found almost twice as many illegal waste sites as we knew about at the beginning of the year, increasing our challenge.
- Just over 800,000 fly-tipping incidents were dealt with by local authorities in England and Wales in 2010-2011.
- There were 262 incidents of large-scale illegal dumping dealt with by the Environment Agency in 2011-2012.
Illegal exports of waste
Since 2008 our assessments looking at the information and evidence from across all parts of our business have led us to target our enforcement work upon three priority areas:
- Co-mingled recyclable wastes - these are collected from households and businesses and include paper, cans, glass, milk cartons, cardboard and plastic.
- e-waste - also known as waste electrical and electronic equipment - WEEE.
- Waste/used tyres.
These are some of our key successes.
Illegal waste sites
In 2011-2012 we stopped the illegal waste activity at 759 sites. We did this by:
- Closing down 670 sites (88%).
- Bringing 89 sites (12%) into regulation so they were no longer operating illegally. Of these:
- 28 were higher risk sites and were permitted
- 61 registered an exemption.
Our taskforce will focus on shutting down illegal waste sites quickly, tackling old sites and trying new approaches.
Illegal waste exports
- We are focussing on inspecting those containers we suspect are non-compliant so our efforts are well targeted and effective.
- We continued working with partners to use our intelligence to help disrupt and prevent illegal shipments. For example, with shipping lines so they can refuse to accept bookings from sites known to have made illegal exports.
- We have received 37 requests to return waste, resulting in the repatriation of about 168 tonnes of waste.
- Four individuals and two companies were charged for exporting approximately 750 tonnes of contaminated waste to Brazil in April 2012. The case will be heard at the Old Bailey later in 2012.
Read about how we are working to prevent the illegal export of e-waste to developing countries:
Prosecution and fines
||Illegal waste activity
|Number of successful prosecutions
|Total fines (£)
|Highest fine (£)
|Average fine (£)*
|Number of custodial sentences (cases)
|Longest custodial sentence (months)
* based on total fines and the number of cases where a fine was imposed