The Environment Agency is reminding roofers and builders in Devon and Cornwall to take responsibility for their waste following the seizure of a haul of asbestos while executing a search warrant at a site in the South West.
The operator of the site was arrested by the police and questioned. Asbestos and other hazardous waste require disposal by specialist contractors at sites that can legally and safely handle it. Mishandling creates a serious risk to public health, the environment and wildlife.
Kevin Baker of the Environment Agency said: ‘Tradespeople that create waste, especially during activities like construction and roofing, must make sure that waste goes to a site legally able to accept it. Roofing tiles often contain asbestos so make sure you know what you’re dealing with.
‘When waste is transferred between different parties it needs a waste transfer note. If a site or waste operator asks for cash for tipping, and provides zero paperwork to you, then be suspicious. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you get rid of asbestos or other waste at illegal sites, don’t be surprised if you get a knock on the door. Unscrupulous people posing as genuine waste collectors cause serious harm to the environment by taking construction waste and dumping it. This waste causes air, ground and water pollution and odour issues. Criminal actions like this also undermine legitimate waste collection businesses.’
Managers, owners, and staff of all construction businesses must use a registered waste carrier to collect, recycle or dispose of their waste, a list of which can be found on the Environment Agency website.
Illegal waste can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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