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BBC Documentary Highlights The Need For Waste Reform

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A recent BBC Panorama investigation has highlighted the issue of fly-tipping and how it has become even more prevalent in lockdown. The documentary broadcast recently has shown how the licensing system has failed to stop fly tipping and how it is an ongoing and growing issue. 

Any business that transports or disposes of waste in England must have a license to do so held with the Environment Agency. The programme looked at the lack of checks on licensed companies and how firms can still be found to dump rubbish despite having a license in place. 

The Government has indicated that a reform of the licensing system is underway and that councils will be given more powers to tackle the issue of fly tipping. 

Lockdown has highlighted the need to address the issue of fly tipping as it has been seen to increase in fly-tipping incidents and is even now considered more acceptable as during lockdown periods there has been limitations on household waste collections and non-essential shops have been closed. In addition, with more time on their hands people have had more waste to dispose of due to clearing out additional rubbish from their homes. 

Based on the most recent Government figures, in England alone, there was over a million fly tipping incidents in 2019. To get a license anyone can complete the online form and pay a fee. Stricter checks have been called from by MPs who regularly receive complaints from constituents regarding the rise of fly tipping incidents in their areas. A specialist group was set up last year to try and tackle criminal gangs that dispose of waste on a massive scale, however there are significant calls for more action to reform the licensing system further. 

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesman said of the changes afoot that the Environment Agency had been given more funding and powers to act. 

“We will also reform the licensing system for waste carriers to ensure stricter background and competency checks which, in combination with mandatory electronic waste tracking, will increase compliance and make it harder for criminals to operate.”

TH Removals will always dispose of waste responsibly and in line with the conditions of our license. If you are struggling to find a reputable licensed waste carrier then in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Do You Know Where Your Waste Is Going ?

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Knowing that your waste will be disposed of responsibly is important when you are choosing a rubbish removal company. Not only will you be protecting the environment and your community, but you will also be protecting yourself against legal action. If someone you have paid to dispose of your rubbish does it by fly-tipping rather than taking it to the appropriate recycling or disposal site, then you could face prosecution and a substantial fine.

One recent case reported by the Bucks Herald resulted in a fine of almost £2000 for a builder in Hatfield. The case began late last year, when a large pile of building waste was discovered in a lay-by in Drayton Beauchamp. The material was traced back to a site in Hatfield, and to the builder who had been contracted not only to perform the work, but also to take care of the waste. He had hired a stranger to dispose of the material, without checking that he was licensed or retaining any contact information. The court determined that he had failed in his duty to ensure the waste was dealt with properly and imposed a fine that covered the legal and clean-up costs.

Thousands of incidents like this happen in our area every year, with several particularly large piles of building waste having been dumped in North Hertfordshire during May. According to the North Hertfordshire District Council, there were nearly 800 cases of fly tipping in just this part of the county over the last year. The problem doesn’t seem to be going away, even though convictions for illegal dumping are happening every week.

You can ensure that your waste isn’t adding to the problem, or putting you at risk of a fine, by picking a licensed waste carrier like TH Removals. If you have any doubts about someone who offers removal services, you can contact the Environment Agency to check that they are authorised to deal with waste. If you find any illegally dumped waste, you can contact your local council to ensure it is removed safely, but you should get in touch with the police if you spot any fly-tipping in progress.

Where Should Our Rubbish Go ?

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 biomass pelletsGetting rid of unwanted waste is not as simple as putting out the bin for collection or handing it over to a rubbish removal team. Once the rubbish leaves our homes, it has to go somewhere, and it is not always easy for everyone to agree where it should be sent. Ideally, we want to get rid of our rubbish in a clean, safe and environmentally friendly manner, but we also have to think about how much it costs to handle different kinds of waste, and where our disposal facilities will be located. It is very easy to say that our garden waste and wood should be taken to a biomass facility where it can be turned into green electricity, but it is far less easy to decide where this facility should be placed, and who should end up living next to it. Nevertheless, rubbish has to go somewhere, and as we try to live greener lifestyles and find alternatives to tips and landfill sites as they reach their limits, we do have to choose locations for new recycling and waste processing facilities.

Permission has just been given in the form of an environmental permit for one such facility in Potters Crouch, near St Albans. The site, which already played a role in rubbish removal in a former life as Wood Recycling Services, will now be converted by Navitas Environmental into a biomass facility processing up to 86,000 tonnes of dry wood waste collected by rubbish removal services from across Hertfordshire every year. The £60 million development will create 30 new jobs, as well as employing about 150 people during construction. It will generate 12 mega watts of renewable energy, which is enough power to supply electricity to 17,000 homes.

The company intends to work closely with the local community to avoid any conflict, and hopes that the development will be seen as an improvement for the rubbish removal site, which has stood unused for some time. Locals, along with St Albans’ MP Anne Main, have raised concerns about the project because of the previous mismanagement of the site that led to a serious fire in 2012, but the Environment Agency has confirmed that restrictions will be placed on the amount of material that can be stored at the site, preventing similar incidents from occurring again.

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