Speaking at the Environmental Services Associations Parliamentary Conference, she said: Increasing waste disposal costs will drive many to look at how they can cut corners to save money. This could draw in more rogue operators as they see opportunities to grow their criminal businesses. We must not allow these waste cheats to undermine the waste strategy and the work of responsible businesses.
She called for government, councils, businesses and communities to work together to ensure waste producers and waste managers achieved compliance with the law and good practice.
This needs to be backed up with robust but measured enforcement including higher fines - it provides the safety net to protect the investments made by Government and industry and to protect our environment, she added.
Although the EA said environmental crime was a major issue, with fly-tipping estimated to cost £100 million a year, it said progress in tackling the problem had been made. This financial year the EA shut down around 400 illegally operating waste sites. It said it was also investigating ways to deal with problem waste streams involved with environmental crime such as construction and demolition waste, paper, plastic and tyres.