I met the Secretary of State for the Environment, the Rt. Hon. Micheal Gove MP, this week to raise with him the increasing number of reports of flytipped rubbish and trade waste being brought to me by constituents.
New regulations have been brought in to give the Environment Agency and local councils more effective tools to use in investigating and prosecuting waste crimes. These include letting them seize vehicles for a wider range of suspected offences, if they have reasonable grounds to believe one has been committed. Unfortunately, it seems these are not deterring some fly-by-night fly-tippers who are avoiding waste disposal costs by dumping building waste and household rubbish on country lanes and verges.
The Environment Agency investigates larger scale fly-tipping incidents that have the potential to damage human health and the environment: these are offences committed by organised gangs, those involving more than one lorry or tipper load of waste, or where hazardous waste has been dumped. Local authorities are responsible for investigating and clearing up smaller scale fly-tipping on public land.
The Environment Secretary listened to my concerns about the number of flytipping incidents carefully and assured me his Department is looking at both increasing punishments for fly-tipping and improving incentives for waste to be disposed of correctly in the first place.