Environment Agency raids illegal waste shipment

The Environment Agency raided a waste storage facility on the Essex and East London border which was bound for illegal export. Greenstore is a large facility where containers are rented […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

The Environment Agency raided a waste storage facility on the Essex and East London border which was bound for illegal export.

Greenstore is a large facility where containers are rented out to individuals and companies for storage.

Officers had information the site was being visited frequently by criminals to store Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) and stolen goods.

They entered the site last week, opened storage containers and found more than 900 stolen gas bottles worth above £50,000, around 1,000 pieces of broken fridges, computers and televisions and stolen cable as well as vehicles.

They were stored at the site waiting to be exported to Africa, according to the Environment Agency.

The maximum penalty for exporting waste illegally is an unlimited fine and a prison sentence, it added.

Chris Smith, National Intelligence Manager, whose team led the operation for the Environment Agency said: “The sheer volume of material that we and our partner organisations found today and prevented from being exported illegally is a big win but the battle isn’t over. Today’s action sends a strong message that we will track down those involved in illegal waste activity.

“The effects of exporting waste illegally is harmful to the environment and the economy. It undercuts legitimate businesses and causes harm to human health and the environment in destination countries where it is often burnt in open fires to recover precious metals.”