More than 100 businesses and sites across Berkshire and Buckinghamshire received unannounced visits from Environment Agency (EA) officers on a single day this week as part of the sector’s ‘Right Waste, Right Place’ campaign.
As a result of the checks on 3 October, 10 illegal sites were found while other operators were given advice and guidance to help them meet their legal requirements. Companies were also checked for having the correct environmental permit for their business.
The surprise inspections covered the removal of hazardous items, such as chemicals and car batteries. Thames Water assisted the EA on pollution checks.
Mark Tucker, installations team leader in the Thames Valley, said: “The agency works with businesses to make sure waste ends up in the right place, and may take more formal action where we believe a serious crime has been committed through illegal waste disposal.
“The 117 sites we inspected this week were under no illusion of their legal obligations on waste management. Mishandling waste, poorly-operated permitted sites and illegal waste activities can pose a threat to human health and the environment by contaminating land, polluting rivers and producing emissions from burning waste.
“As well as breaking the law, illegal operations undermine the work done by legitimate firms,” Tucker added.
EA staff also attended the Wickes DIY store in Slough to offer free waste-handling advice to hauliers and homeowners.