Number of people sent to jail for waste crime offences has trebled in last three years


In the past year, 16 people have been sent to prison for major waste crimes, compared to just six people in 2009.

The Environment Agency has published its first annual waste crime report, that shows 335 companies and individuals were successfully prosecuted for serious waste offences.


Last year, the courts also issued fines of £1.7 million to waste offenders, which was £800,000 more than in 2010.

While courts also ordered for £2.2 million of assets to be confiscated from waste criminals and 750 large illegal waste sites were closed down.

The report also warned that organised gangs continue to be involved in dumping waste in towns and cities as well as using areas around motorways to run illegal waste sites.

Environment Agency head of the National Environment Crime Team Andrew Higham said: “Waste crime can cause pollution, pose risks to people’s health and undercut legitimate businesses. We’ve stepped up the fight and we are increasingly seeing waste offenders being made to pay for their crimes.

“But we are not complacent and there is more to do particularly around cracking down on illegal waste sites. Our new [£5 million illegal waste sites] taskforce will help us break this cycle. However, we can’t do it on our own. We need everyone to play their part in helping to tackle waste crime.”