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Waste Management: Enforcement

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much was spent on the (a) enforcement of legislation and (b) prosecution of offences relating to illegal waste activity in each of the last five years; (205703)

(2) how much was spent on the (a) enforcement and (b) prosecution of illegal waste activity in each of the last five years; and how much of this cost has been recovered through the courts.

Flycapture, the national database of fly-tipping incidents records the amount spent by local authorities in England on the following enforcement actions:

(i) duty of care inspections;

(ii) fixed penalty notices;

(iii) formal cautions;

(iv) injunctions;

(v) investigations;

(vi) prosecutions; and

(vii) warning letters.

These data have only been available since the year 2006-07. Flycapture records enforcement action that has been carried out with the aim of preventing the illegal disposal of waste, or fly-tipping. It does not record data on all illegal waste activity. In 2006-07, local authorities spent around £24.6 million on enforcement. This figure is calculated using standard costings for different types of enforcement.

National data on how much local authorities have spent on enforcement and which has been recovered through the courts are not available.

Data from Flycapture are available to download electronically on DEFRA’s Flycapture website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/localenv/flytippinq/fly capture-data.htm

Additionally, in recent years, the Environment Agency has typically spent approximately £14 million per annum on the enforcement and prosecution of illegal waste activity. This figure represents the full costs incurred by the Environment Agency and does not take into account any costs they may recover through the courts.

Costs recovered through the criminal courts, in respect of successful investigations and prosecutions, over the previous five years were as follows:

£

2003

1,006,704

2004

641,030

2005

912,969

2006

685,141

2007

1,007,293

Recovered costs cover all cases that involve waste, breaches and incidents.