Illegal cross-border waste haulage and disposal is the target of a series of new multi-agency interventions as part of the £3.8m LIFE SMART Waste project.
The new scheme is being led by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and is co-funded by the European Union.
In tandem with police forces across Britain and the English, Welsh and Northern Irish environment agencies, the Drive out waste crime initiative involves a series of road stops, site visits and awareness-raising activity to remind hauliers of their responsibilities relating to waste haulage and disposal.
Waste crime is estimated to cost the UK economy around £600m a year and is known to include trans-border activity, including the illegal transport and dumping of waste in Scotland by hauliers travelling from England and elsewhere.
“Intelligence gathered by the LIFE SMART Waste project indicates that waste is being hauled from England and Wales and illegally deposited in Scotland,” said Kath McDowall, Unit Manager in SEPA’s Waste Crime Investigations Team.
“Several companies are known to be involved and many of these are under investigation by SEPA’s waste crime investigation team for criminal offences. There are also indications of serious and organised crime group involvement in the transport, sale and disposal of illegal waste – so it’s vital that we work with partners across the UK to tackle this issue.”
The Scottish Borders are renowned for their landscape and scenic beauty, but all too often lay-bys are filled with all manner of rubbish and junk which has been fly tipped.
A third multi-agency road stop took place yesterday on the A1 to address cross-border activity including the illegal dumping of waste and transport of other potential illicit goods, alongside road traffic offences. This involved both SEPA and Environment Agency officers conducting joint duty of care and waste carrier checks on vehicles crossing the border. Natural Resources Wales, British Transport Police, DVSA, Police Scotland, Scottish Business Resilience Centre and HMRC were also involved.
As part of the initiative, SEPA has created a Drive out waste crime flyer that has been handed out at road checks and placed in service stations and truck stops on the A1.
LIFE SMART Waste is a £3.8m EU co-funded project.