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Environment Agency trials new technology to tackle waste crime

A new system that will automatically call waste companies such as skip operators who could be handling waste illegally
was unveiled today by the Environment Agency. The automated telephone calling system, which will be piloted in Northumberland this month, will ring all
companies advertising waste related services in the area that may not be registered as waste carriers with the Environment Agency.

Arwyn Jones, BREW Project Manager, said: “By law, all businesses must be registered if they carry, collect or dispose of waste. This is to help ensure waste is managed lawfully in this lucrative industry, and to help prevent fly-tipping and illegal dumping. However, out of around the 1,700 businesses we have identified in Northumberland, only 400 were registered with the Environment Agency.

“The automated phone call from the us will remind unregistered firms of the legislation and allowing them to register before further action is taken. We know who these businesses are and this will give them a much-needed jolt to make sure they stay on the right side of the law. Ignorance
is no defence and if firms continue to flout the law then we will track them down, and if necessary, take them to court.”
This automated telephone system is just one of the innovative projects funded through the Defra's Business Resource and Efficiency Waste (BREW) project.

Arwyn Jones continued: “Over the past two years, we have made significant progress in tackling waste crimes such as large-scale illegal dumping of waste. We continue to work closely with local authorities to tackle the general problem of smaller scale fly-tipping. “Often the large scale and complex cases of illegal dumping of waste are masterminded by criminals, and so we are now able to take an intelligence-led approach using the latest technology and forensic techniques. This type illegal dumping of waste is not only an environmental problem, but costs us all millions each year to clean up.

“Everyone has a duty to make sure their waste is disposed of legally yet some people think they can get away with using
rogue traders. We want to stamp out these illegal businesses so that the only ones left are those which care about our
environment.”

Media enquiries: 020 7863 8710 (five lines), or outside normal office hours, please contact the National Duty Press
Officer on 07798 882 092

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