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Waste crime campaign launched

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) have launched a waste crime and duty of care (DOC) awareness campaign.

The first phase of the ‘Right Waste, Right Place’ project, funded by the Environment Agency (EA), will be targeted at small and medium-sized firms.

A website has been developed, and ESA and CIWM members will be stepping up their efforts to get the message out at events and workshops.

The site, yet to be completed, is expected to contain information to help organisations comply, and will act as a portal to a range of other more sector-specific information.

Social media will be a strong part of the campaign, with organisers believing it is where many smaller businesses source their information. Facebook and Twitter accounts have been created.

2016 steve lee

2016 steve lee

CIWM chief executive Steve Lee (pictured) described DOC as a “fundamental tool” in responsible waste management and prevention of waste crime.

“Armed with simple advice, businesses of all sizes and kinds can work better with their waste managers to control their costs, protect people and the environment, and avoid prosecution for failure to control wastes.

“The CIWM will be supporting this vital project through all of its services and communications reach, and has co-funded its second phase to keep the message live.”

ESA head of regulation Sam Corp said the number and range of organisations involved with the project showed how serious an issue compliance was.

”Very few organisations want to actively flout the law, but most are simply not informed about what they have to do,” he said.

”Unfortunately, being uninformed is no protection from the law, and we believe that more companies will find themselves exposed to prosecution unless they take the right steps to comply. The ’Right Waste, Right Place’ campaign is designed to help fill the very evident knowledge gap, especially with SMEs.”

Corp previously told MRW they were also looking at producing Top Trump-style cards for specific waste streams to give people simple information about what they can best do with each material. They are considering using an app to promote that aspect.

The second phase, jointly funded by the CIWM and the ESA Education Trust, is expected to target the construction and agriculture sectors when it launches in June.

The project was initially announced at RWM in 2015, where EA deputy director of illegals and waste Mat Crocker said: “If everybody applied their DOC, then the waste crime problem would go away.”

Crocker marked the launch of the campaign by saying waste crime remained a big problem.

”Illegally deposited waste is unsightly, environmentally destructive and expensive to clean up, but it is only the visual tip of a larger iceberg of waste crime, where criminals are getting rich on exploiting widespread ignorance of the law. We believe that most companies, no matter what size, will save money and become more efficient into the bargain,” he added.

Defra and Natural Resources Wales published a revised DOC code of practice in March, slimming the document down from 60 to 13 pages.

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