Recent Posts

Highways England

HE had adamantly refused to consider prosecuting waste transport vehicle operators who allow material to escape from their vehicles in breach of  EPA S34 – Duty of care etc as respects waste

In my e-mail to HE’s Ops Director Nick Harris of 10th Nov 2016 I argued that HE can and should prosecute such cases.

Not having received a reply I wrote to Philip Rutnam, the Permanent Secretary at the DfT on 1st March 2017 saying:

Prosecution of  waste transporters who spill their loads onto the HE network

There is growing evidence that waste from vehicles such as the one shown in this 30 second video are a major source of litter on the HE network.  HE could and, in my opinion, should prosecute the offending operators under EPA S34 – Duty of care as respects waste.

I would be most grateful if you could expedite a reply to my e-mail to HE of 10th November 2016 on this subject.

A reply was received on 6th April saying:

The Department will contact Highways England to check your e-mail of the 10 November 2016 is being processed.

No response has been forthcoming to date (21th April)

Environment Agency

I phoned the Environment Agency hotline on 6th May 2016 to report Waste falling from transporter on M40. I was told that only deal with waste from licensed sites. I was told to ring the police on 101

I made an information request to the EA about such cases  on 5th May 2016 saying I had witnessed waste coming off the top of waste transport vehicles.

In their reply they stated that their mandate was to focus on larger scale waste incidents. While the escape of waste from vehicles might come within the scope of our enforcement activities under certain circumstances, this type of incident will normally be a matter for local and other authorities.

Under a protocol agreed with the Local Government Association  in 2005 only the  EA are meant to deal with offences committed by registered waste carriers. (Compare last sections of  para 2.9 and 3.7).

I reported another incident on the M40 in August 2017 to the EA. I was initially told it was an “unsafe load” issue and not part of EA’s remit. It was suggested I contact the Police. On taking the matter  further I was told  the EA did have powers under section 34 of the Environment Protection Act 1990 to take action if  someone fails to control waste they are transporting. However their Thames Area  was not resourced at that time to prosecute this type of offence.

On 27th March 2017 I sent another  dash-cam video to Nicky Cunningham, the EA’s Deputy Director Waste Regulation asking if the EA would investigate with a view to prosecuting under EPA S34.

She replied on 11th April saying that the incident appeared to show unsafe loads and if reported to the EA (but I had reported it to her!) they would normally refer it to the DVSA, Highways Authority (in this case it would have been Highways England) or the Police.

I replied on 11th April to say that air-blown waste might not be considered to be an unsafe load and that both HE and the Police had already indicated that they were not interested in such cases.  She replied on the same day that she had nothing further to add.

In the governments new Litter Strategy published in on 17th April 2017 it says on page 56:

Material falling or coming out of a vehicle carrying waste is an escape of waste. Producers of waste also have a duty to ensure vehicles do not leave their site inappropriately covered or sealed. This can be enforced by local authorities or the Environment Agency under Section 34 of the Environment Protection Act 1990.

But why are they not doing so?

Peter Silverman
21st April 2017



Comments are closed.