A consultation on tackling waste crime and poor performers in Wales’ waste industry has been published today.
The consultation, developed jointly with the UK Government, contains proposals in the following three areas. They aim to tackle waste crime to help protect the environment and human health and prevent criminal activity undermining responsible business:
- Reform the waste exemptions regime,
- Strengthen the requirements for people applying to operate a waste facility to demonstrate their competence,
- Introduce Fixed Penalty Notices for the offence of a householder passing waste to an unauthorised waste carrier or site under the Duty of Care provisions.
Minister for Environment, Hannah Blythyn said:
“We take the issue of waste crime very seriously. It significantly impacts our natural environment and can result in communities suffering from odour, litter, dust, vermin and fly infestations. Illegally deposited waste also creates a risk of fire adding to disruption to our infrastructure, including hospitals and schools. The cost of clean up often falls to the owners of the land or the public purse.
“The economic impact of waste crime is significant costing Wales at least £15 million in 2015. I am seeking views in this consultation to deliver environmental, health, social and economic benefits for Wales’ communities and future generations.”
The consultation builds on powers introduced in 2015, which strengthened Natural Resources Wales’ ability to take speedier and more effective action to tackle poor performing and illegal operators across the waste industry.
Kevin Ingram, Natural Resources Wales Interim Chief Executive said:
“As the regulator of the waste industry in Wales, our role is to ensure that waste is managed so that it does not cause pollution to the environment, harm to human health or detriment to our local communities. We want to support legitimate businesses in complying with the relevant legal controls and stop the activity of criminals who have no intention in complying with those rules.
“We believe these proposals will improve competence across the waste industry and allow us to target those waste operators who undercut legitimate businesses. They will also strengthen our ability to identify and bring those people acting illegally to justice and recover avoided costs and taxes.”