Waste Disposal: Erith and Thamesmead

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 20 October 2023.

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Photo of Abena Oppong-Asare Abena Oppong-Asare Shadow Minister (Women's Health and Mental Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what information her Department holds on the level of illegal waste disposal in Erith and Thamesmead constituency in the last 12 months.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Environment Agency’s Kent and South London enforcement team respond to reports of illegal disposal of waste and seeks to take proactive and targeted action within the Erith and Thamesmead area.

In the last 12 months the Environment Agency have received two reports of illegal disposal of waste in the Erith and Thamesmead area. Both reports concern the illegal disposal of commercial waste by burning. The Environment Agency attended one site and since this visit, have received no further reports of burning from this location. In the case of the second report, the Environment Agency issued a letter giving advice and guidance on waste disposal to the business address of the company suspected of the burning. Since this letter was sent, they have received no further reports of burning. The Environment Agency currently have no active investigations into the illegal disposal of waste in Erith and Thamesmead area.

The Environment Agency also conducts proactive days of action to target specific waste offences and waste streams. The last day of action was held on the 18 September 2023 covering the Erith and Thamesmead areas in the London borough of Bexley. The operation was conducted in partnership with officers from Environment Agency, Metropolitan Police, Openreach and the London Borough of Bexley. The purpose was to target uninsured/unlicensed drivers and hauliers believed to be engaged in illegal waste activities. Based on intelligence the focus was on scrap metal dealers known to be operating in the Thamesmead area. The day gathered valuable intelligence and enforcement action was taken against several un-registered waste carriers.

Additionally, the latest fly-tipping incident data held by Defra shows that in 2021/22 the London Borough of Bexley reported a total of 5096 fly-tipping incidents and the London Borough of Greenwich reported a total of 8666 fly-tipping incidents. In response to these reports 407 actions were taken by the London Borough of Bexley and 918 actions by the London Borough of Greenwich.

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