Local authorities lack funding to reach waste crime targets
A new poll of local authority Waste and Recycling Officers has shown that local authorities across the UK do not have the required funding and resources to meet the Government’s target to eliminate waste crime by 2043.
95 per cent of polled officers believe that the Environment Agency has insufficient enforcement funding to effectively tackle waste crime and is simultaneously not taking enough enforcement action. 91 per cent think that their respective local authorities do not have enough resources and capacity to tackle waste crime.
A further 77 per cent think their local authority will fail to deliver on the Government’s pledge of eliminating waste crime by 2043. 82 per cent of respondents believe there is insufficient public awareness of the different forms waste crime takes which creates further difficulty in combating it.
The poll was conducted by the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) on behalf of FCC Environment and follows a Government announcement of an additional £775,000 grant funding for a number of councils to help tackle flytipping – just one form of waste crime.
Data, cost and human resources were singled out as the three biggest obstacles to effectively building an understanding of the full extent of waste crime which in turn hinders any preventative measures that could be taken.
Chris Ellis, FCC Environment’s Operations Director, commented: “Around one fifth of the UK’s waste is handled illegally, costing the UK economy £1 billion each year.
“The findings show Government is not equipping local authorities or the Environment Agency with the budget to be able to effectively deal with the issue, and risks missing its 2043 date for eliminating the issue.”
Cathy Cook, Chair of LARAC, added: “It is clear that our members are committed to tackling waste crime in their local authority areas, but we know more funding and resources are needed to fully address the issue.
“Waste crime hampers our environmental objectives and can be a blight on our landscapes. Our members believe this matter is a high priority and we would like to see it treated as such.”