The Environment Agency says that it is “calling on all construction and demolition sites that produce, transport, treat or dispose of waste to fulfil their duty of care”.
It makes no mention of the vast majority of the construction industry that advances the cause of waste minimisation and recycling; the statement put out by the agency makes it quite clear that it sees builders as potential villains.
Malcolm Lythgo, head of waste regulation at the Environment Agency, said: “We have seen many issues arising from builders not checking who they pay to take their site waste away. Failing to deal with construction and demolition waste properly could cause injuries or illness, increase fly-tipping and put your livelihood at risk.
“I would strongly urge all builders to do the right thing and take full responsibility for their waste to limit disruption to the environment as much as possible. You should know who is taking your waste and where it is going.”
Over the past year, the agency has taken action against those illegally collecting and dumping significant waste originating from builders, he said.
Builders have a legal responsibility to ensure they send their site waste to legal waste collectors. Not doing so can result in them facing up to a £50,000 fine.