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Durkan pledges co-ordinated campaign against waste crime

The authorities in Northern Ireland have promised a co-ordinated fight against organised crime in the waste sector.

Mark Durkan

The commitment comes from Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, left, in his department’s ‘Operational plan for managing and regulating waste in Northern Ireland’ and is largely in response to an official finding that the sector was suffering significant criminal infiltration.

The Mills report in December 2013 considered the discovery of 500,000 tonnes of illegal waste dumped outside Derry and identified a lack of a co-ordination among the various authorities in tackling the problem.

Launching the new operational plan, Durkan said there had to be a radical, and coordinated approach.

“A key part of this is for the Department of Environment (DoE) to improve traditional methods of regulation and enforcement. We need to use every mechanism available to tackle the serious problems identified.

“Arguably the most important actions in the plan will require strong partnership working between the new local councils and my department. Powerful co-operation between the central and local arms of government will go a long way to ensuring the proper management of waste in the North.”

The author of the report, Chris Mills, has been recruited to work within the Northern Ireland Environment Agency to help implement the required changes.

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