BBC Panorama use Harlow garage as part of fly-tip investigation

News / Mon 22nd Feb 2021 at 08:47am

A BBC Panorama investigation has revealed how the government’s licensing system for waste carriers fails to stop fly-tipping.

All businesses that transport and dispose of waste in England have to be licensed with the Environment Agency.

But there are few checks on who gets a licence and BBC Panorama found licensed firms can still be involved in the dumping of rubbish.

The government said the licensing system is being reformed. 

It also said councils have been given greater powers to tackle fly-tipping.

Panorama filled a garage in Harlow, Essex with rubbish that would be difficult to dispose of without paying fees under the landfill tax and then asked a licensed company to collect it.

A responsible company would have charged around £200 to take the rubbish away, but Bears Waste Disposal from Letchworth offered to do the job for £120.

Tracking devices had been placed in the rubbish by the programme team and the items were later found fly-tipped in a country lane just off the A1.
Chris Poulter, from Bears Waste Disposal, later told Panorama he had never fly-tipped and he had sub-contracted the job to somebody else.

He said he had only taken the Harlow job as a one-off because another waste carrier had offered to dispose of the rubbish for him.

“I am sorry this has happened,” he said. “I would never take any jobs on with the intention of it being fly-tipped.”


Panorama: Rubbish Dump Britain is on BBC One at 19:35 GMT on Monday 22 February.

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