Fly-tipping: Licensing system failing to stop dumping, Panorama findson February 22, 2021 at 12:42 am

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

A BBC Panorama investigation finds licensed firms involved in the dumping of rubbish.

A BBC Panorama investigation has revealed how the government’s licensing system for waste carriers fails to stop fly-tipping.

All businesses that transport and dispose of waste in England have to be licensed with the Environment Agency.

But there are few checks on who gets a licence and BBC Panorama found licensed firms can still be involved in the dumping of rubbish.

The government said the licensing system is being reformed.

It also said councils have been given greater powers to tackle fly-tipping.

Panorama filled a garage in Harlow, Essex with rubbish that would be difficult to dispose of without paying fees under the landfill tax and then asked a licensed company to collect it.

A responsible company would have charged around £200 to take the rubbish away, but Bears Waste Disposal from Letchworth offered to do the job for £120.

Tracking devices had been placed in the rubbish by the programme team and the items were later found fly-tipped in a country lane just off the A1.

Chris Poulter, from Bears Waste Disposal, later told Panorama he had never fly-tipped and he had sub-contracted the job to somebody else.

Fly-tipping near Dartford, Kent (file image)

He said he had only taken the Harlow job as a one-off because another waste carrier had offered to dispose of the rubbish for him.

“I am sorry this has happened,” he said. “I would never take any jobs on with the intention of it being fly-tipped.”

The most recent government statistics show there were more than a million fly-tipping incidents in 2019 in England alone.

The licensing system should be one way of stopping fly-tippers, but anyone can get a licence by filling in an online form and paying a fee.

There is a question that asks if the applicant has been convicted of an environmental crime, but convicted criminals can still get a licence even if they admit to the offence on the form.

Dumped asbestos

image copyrightBrian Miles

One campaigner got a licence in the name of his dead dog Oscar to highlight the flaws in the system.

Last year the government set up a new unit to tackle the most serious cases. The Joint Unit for Waste Crime is targeting the organised criminal gangs that make millions by dumping waste on an industrial scale.

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesman said the Environment Agency had been given additional powers and funding.

He said: “We will also reform the licensing system for waste carriers to ensure stricter background and competency checks which, in combination with mandatory electronic waste tracking, will increase compliance and make it harder for criminals to operate.”

Panorama: Rubbish Dump Britain is on BBC One at 19:35 GMT on Monday 22 February.

- Advertisement -

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

Nikola is like Amazon and could be worth a $100 billion someday: founder

The market likes what it sees in electric and hydrogen powered automaker Nikola, at least in day one of being publicly traded. Shares of Nikola...

A Blind Drummer Becomes A Motto For Pakistan

A Blind Drummer Becomes A Motto For PakistanThe novel by Salman Rushdie about Pakistan's greatest poet and most hated dissident, Khalid Abdul Muhammad,...

American Airlines expects to halt cash burn by year-end, shares jump

American Airlines Group Inc said on Friday it expects to halt its daily cash burn by the end of 2020 thanks to cost-cutting measures...

Contrary to viral posts, coronavirus relief checks won’t have to be repaid

CHICAGO — Videos and online reports claiming that millions of Americans will have to repay the relief checks they receive from the federal government...

Fast Racing Khalid From Batman The Brave And The Bold Movie Review

When we think of Khalid, we usually think of those times when he was the most difficult of enemies and the main guy. Well,...