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Waste crime millionaires uncovered

Forget winning the lottery, striking oil and being signed by Chelsea Football Club - the new way to get rich quick is illegal waste dumping.

Fly-tipping millionaires have been uncovered by the Environment Agency (EA) as the crime spirals out of control.

As the UK desperately tries to meet EU recycling targets, high Landfill Tax bills and stringent laws are giving a huge incentive to dump waste illegally.

EA special enforcement officer Brian Hyams said: "We have come across offenders who we assess have made more than £1 million from illegal waste disposal.

"Rubbish is expensive to deal with legally, which means there is a big profit to be made by unscrupulous individuals prepared to break the law."

Hyams was speaking after it was revealed that a primetime BBC One programme would focus on organised waste crime this week.

Dumping on Britain , due for screening at 7pm on Wednesday May 4, features large scale fly-tipping rackets.

These include a golf course that is actually an illegal dump for construction waste, and two-metre-high loads of rubble and asbestos at a nature reserve.

Hyams added: "This programme not only shows the scams that these individuals might pull, but also the complete disregard that they have for human health, the law and the environment.

"The EA is on the case of these people. Working with local authorities and the police, we will continue to do what we can to stop these people using Britain as a dumping ground."

Fly-tipping costs more than £100m per year to clean up. Recent figures showed that waste was illegally dumped every 35 seconds in England.

Environmental Services Association chief executive Dirk Hazell warned of the growing gang waste-crime culture last year.

“Our members have had experience of serious criminals getting involved in dumping waste," he said. "It is on the increase and it is not being dealt with."

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