Government to review illegal waste sites

A new study commissioned by Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) has found how to best measure waste prevention.

A review into illegal waste activity has been announced by Environment Secretary Michael Gove and will allow a wide group of people to provide their say on ways to stop further organised crime groups (OCGs).  

According to Defra, waste criminals cost the English economy more than £600m in 2015 as they illegally evaded landfill tax, operated illegal waste sites and exported illegal waste. 


The review will be chaired by Defra Non-Executive Director Lizzie Noel and will: 

  • Consider the types of crimes being committed and OCGs involved 
  • Consider the environmental community and economic impacts of serious and organised waste crime 
  • Consider how the Environment Agency, other organisations, and the law enforcement system can collaborate to tackle the threat 
  • Make recommendations for a strategic approach to serious and organised waste crime.  

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Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “Organised criminals running illegal waste dumps and fly-tipping are blighting local communities. They cost our economy vast amounts of money, pollute our environment and harm our wildlife. 

“We must crack-down on these criminals who have no regard for the impact they have on peoples’ lives. The time is right for us to look at how we can best tackle these antisocial and inexcusable crimes.” 

This review builds on a range of new measures from the Government to tackle waste crime, including new powers for the Environment Agency to lock the gates to problem waste sites to stop waste illegally growing, forcing operators to clear waste and extending landfill tax.  

The review is due to be completed by September 2018.  

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