Environment bosses exposed 31 illegal waste sites in Lancashire in the last year, a newly-published report revealed today.
The Environment Agency’s ‘Cracking down on waste crime’ report, focuses on work undertaken to reduce illegal waste activity.
Among the sites thwarted between 2012 and 2013 were two in Preston, one in South Ribble, three in Lancaster, three in West Lancashire, two in Chorley, two in the Ribble Valley, one in the Fylde area and one in the Wyre area.
Illegal waste sites can cause misery for communities with infestations of flies, acrid smoke and ugly piles of waste affecting people’s homes and quality of life, and they can also lead to serious pollution incidents.
Illegal exports, serious dumping incidents and illegal waste sites where waste is burned and buried with no environmental safeguards in place, were stopped.
Legitimate waste businesses are undercut by illegal sites, which offer waste collection, treatment and disposal at cheaper prices than competitors, but have no intention of disposing of it safely.
It is estimated waste crime costs legitimate businesses and the Treasury as much as £1bn every year.
North West Environment Manager Steve Molyneux said: “These recently released figures shine a spotlight on the good progress we have made cracking down on waste crime, which blights communities and our environment.
“Those operating illegally undermine investment in legitimate business and where we find it we will not hesitate to take action and tough sanctions can be expected.”