Officers swoop on sites dealing in illegal waste
�Illegal waste sites in Rainham were raided by a multi-agency taskforce last week during a three-day operation.
A number of eco-crimes were uncovered after teams from the Environment Agency, Havering Police, and Havering Council, swooped on Ferry Lane Industrial Estate, on December 5.
Officers found an illegal car breakers yard that was exporting waste to Africa, and a site illegally exporting waste abroad without carrying out proper checks.
A third yard was flouting its permits, and will be reinvestigated.
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Officers also revisited sites that had been raided in October to see whether they were operating correctly.
Environment minister Lord Taylor joined the teams.
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He said: “These illegal waste sites do untold damage to the environment and cause misery for local people that have to live with toxic fumes, noise at all hours and unbearable smells.
“We are cracking down on those sites that blight our communities and will work with the police and other partners to bring the criminals behind them to justice.”
The focus of the operation, codenamed Ferrous, will shift to follow-up and enforcement work over the coming months, to either bring sites into compliance or prosecute operators.
Kim Egbokhan, who led the operation for the Environment Agency, said: “Waste crime is a huge problem in this area and puts us and our environment at risk. We, along with the police and local authorities, have been working hard over the past few years to stop it. The effects of this illegal activity isn’t limited to our own shores. Waste shipped abroad without the proper checks can harm human health and the environment in other countries too.
“Illegal operators undercut legitimate businesses, so if the cost of disposing of your waste sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
“We rely on members of the public and legitimate businesses to help us identify the culprits.”
n Anyone with information about suspected illegal waste operators should call the Environment Agency’s incident helpline on 0800 807060 or call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.