Waste Crime

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What is Waste Crime?

Managing waste responsibly and legally comes at a cost, and there is always a temptation for the criminal element to seek financial benefit by breaking the law. 

Unfortunately waste crime is very big problem for the UK. It causes significant environmental and public health problems, can blight local communities, as well as draining the UK economy of around £1 billion each year in clean up costs and lost tax revenues.

Waste criminals don’t implement the environmental controls that responsible legitimate operators follow. Waste crime can therefore pose a real threat to the environment, causing nuisance, environmental contamination and public health problems.

Waste crime can also harm the economy by taking business away from legitimate responsible businesses and damaging the reputation of the waste and resource management industry. 

The ESA Report 'Counting the Cost of Waste Crime' estimates that waste Crime costs the UK £1 billion each year in clean up costs and lost tax revenues. The costs involved in clearing up the mess caused by flytipping and illegal sites are also considerable to local authorities.

ESA's work with the JUWC


ESA is a member of the Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC) oversight Board.

Launched in January 2020., their aspiration is to reduce the impact of serious and organised crime in the UK waste industry, protecting the economy, environment and communities by targeting criminals posing the greatest risk.

They work collaboratively with the broader network of partners who have a wish to stamp out waste crime, targeting criminals engaged in serious and organised crime, where intelligence indicates a multi-agency response would be most affective.

The JUWC is intelligence lead in its approach, both to help them understand the criminals, but also to ensure resource are deployed to have the biggest impact.

ESA Members are on the frontline when it comes to witnessing and providing intelligence about criminal activity. By reporting what you see, it helps the JUWC and other enforcement organisations build a picture that will enable the utilisation of powers across all JUWC partners to have the maximum impact on criminals exploiting the waste industry.

Why should you report waste crime?

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If you know anything about waste crime you can report it through any of a number of channels. Click the banner below to find out more:

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