Road stop in Erith halts illegal waste carriers in their tracks

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Environment Agency officers working with London Borough Of Bexley, the Met Police, Openreach and the Joint Unit For Waste Crime seized a vehicle and issued 4 penalty notices while stopping vehicles carrying waste in Erith as part of Operation Cubo.

The Environment Agency were pulling over vehicles to check they were registered as waste carriers with the Environment Agency, and that they had a required waste transfer note that shows what they were carrying, where they picked the waste up and where they were taking it to.

The Environment Agency and its partners stopped 22 vehicles carrying waste, issued 4 fixed penalty notices for non-compliance and seized one vehicle.

Matt Higginson, Environment Manager for the Environment Agency, said:

It’s our job to protect people and nature even in these uncertain times, which is why our regulatory and enforcement work continues while we adhere to the government’s guidelines around coronavirus.

This should serve as a warning to those who would flout the law that we and our partners are still fighting to put a stop to waste crime and we won’t hesitate to take action.

To help avoid giving your waste to an illegal waste carrier and your waste ending up at an illegal waste site, we encourage you to ask for your waste collector’s waste carrier’s registration number and ask to see their waste transfer note, they must be able to produce both. We also encourage people to avoid paying in cash.

Joint investigations will continue with the Environment Agency and, if convicted as a result of legal action, those responsible could face extensive fines and even prison sentences.

Anyone who suspects illegal waste activity is reminded to report it to our 24-hour hotline by calling 0800 80 70 60, or anonymously contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

You can check your waste collector’s waste carriers registration at https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers or call 03708 506 506.

January 2021 saw the first anniversary of the Joint Unit for Waste Crime. The Unit was formed by the Environment Agency and partners, aiming to stop serious and organised crime in the UK waste industry. You can find out more about the initiative on our website.

Notes to editors

Everyone involved in the raid made sure the operation was conducted with social distancing rules in place with correct PPE to ensure everyone involved was safe.

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