The Environment Agency is warning property and landowners, commercial property agents, trade associations and local authorities to be aware of the dangers posed by waste criminals. Industrial units are targeted by waste criminals, leaving premises full of waste, often structurally damaged and with a costly clean-up bill.
Below are some steps you can take to prevent yourself from becoming a waste crime victim.
There are several risks to property owners if waste ends up being illegally dumped on your premises.
• Financial: waste illegally dumped will have to be removed to a permitted waste site. This inevitably falls to the property owner and the costs can be high.
• Reputational: illegal waste dumping can result in considerable local and national media attention. These sorts of activities can damage reputations.
• Enforcement: anyone involved in the illegal keeping, treatment and disposal of controlled waste commits an offence, in some cases even if it is done unwittingly. The Environment Agency can serve notice on property owners to clean up any waste left on their land if not correctly permitted.
Steps to take to protect yourself
Ensure you understand what your tenants business is:
a. Ask if your tenant is involved in waste activities on your land
b. Check if they have the necessary authorisations in place to carry out the activity, including planning permissions
c. Use the Public Register to check your tenant has a current permit or carrier/broker registration: www.gov.uk/guidance/access-the-public-register-for-environmental-information
d. Make sure you understand the difference between a site that is permitted by the Environment Agency and one that is register exempt.