Waste crime threatens the environment, undermines legitimate business and costs the UK economy more than £1billion each year.

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It is estimated that more than a fifth of all waste material – equivalent to 35 million tonnes a year – is handled illegally. This material often ends up fly-tipped or disposed of in unregulated, unsafe and illegitimate facilities.

While the ESA will always champion more robust enforcement, and tougher penalties against waste criminals, we support the regulatory authorities in their every-day efforts to tackle criminality threatening our sector. 

ESA is a member of the Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC) oversight Board, which launched in January 2020.

The purpose of this body is to reduce the impact of serious and organised crime in the UK waste industry, protecting the economy, environment and communities by targeting criminals posing the greatest risk.

The JUWC works collaboratively with a broader network of partners , targeting criminals engaged in serious and organised crime, where intelligence indicates a multi-agency response would be most effective.

The JUWC is intelligence lead in its approach, both to help them understand the criminals but also to ensure resources are deployed where they will have the biggest impact.

ESA Members are on the frontline when it comes to witnessing and providing intelligence about criminal activity. The ESA encourages its members to report what they see because this helps the JUWC and other enforcement organisations build an intelligence picture that will enable the JUWC partners to use their full powers and have the maximum impact on criminals exploiting the waste industry.

How can you report waste crime?



  • Call the EA Incident Hotline: 0800 80 70 60

Further Information:

Report dumping by:

Contact Natural Resources Wales (NRW):

Contact Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA)

  • Anonymously and leave your details with Environmental Crime Unit on: 02890 569 453
  • Email details to
  • Contact CrimeStoppers using the information above.

Further Information:

Ultimately, waste crime only pays if criminals can get their hands on waste. That is why it’s essential that waste producers understand and adhere to their duty of care – only giving their waste to legitimate operators to manage legally and responsibly. To support waste producers with their Duty of Care obligations, the ESA launched the Right Waste, Right Place campaign . More info can be found on our Campaigns page.

In addition to our work supporting the regulatory authorities, the ESA also commissions and publishes research into UK waste crime, with a selection of our most recent reports below.

Latest Waste Crime news