UK Environment Agency Chief Sir James Bevan said ‘waste crime’ is the largest crime than drugs in the United Kingdom of this year.
“Waste is the new narcotics. It feels to me like drugs felt in the 1980s: the system hadn’t quite woken up to the enormity of what was going on and was racing to catch up,” he said.
Illegal waste activity costs the country about £1bn yearly. About 1,000 illegal waste sites have been uncovered the previous year, more than the previous two years in total with about 662 active by the end of March 2016.
Organised gangs and shady corporations are part of the dumping of illegal household and industrial wastes in different areas. This had led to massive frauds in recycling feels and landfill tax.
The Environment Agency’s actions had helped to close more than 1,000 sites it had found with fines and prosecutions against property owners.
“When you have an illegal waste site, it will look horrible, it will smell, be noisy and there are constantly fires.
“With drugs it took a while for the system to catch up and realise the damage drugs were doing. We are clear now about the damage waste crime does to communities and to the economy,” he said.
“The strategy is to work with the good guys and really nail the bad guys. “We are both finding more [illegal sites] and nailing more. As the statistics show we haven’t cracked it yet and it will be a long grind, but we are making progress.”