Waste Fines on the Rise in the Construction Sector


Recent changes in waste legislation has contributed to a significant increase in the number of prosecutions against developers and contractors in the construction and regeneration sector.

The HMRC and EA task force now have powers to investigate sites involved in the deposit, treatment, storage and disposal of soils and aggregates at construction sites. These type of activities require a permit, a materials management plan (MMP) or registered exemption and include:

  • Re-use of crushed aggregate (6F2);
  • Hand-picking of asbestos fragments;
  • Re-use of Made Ground;
  • Screening of soils to improve geotechnical properties.
  • Transfer of spoil or aggregates between development sites;

All parties are jointly or severally liable including landowners, developers, main contractors, producers and receivers of waste. Therefore don’t assume that risk will be carried by your supply chain – ignorance would not stand as a viable defence and all parties will be deemed to share culpability.

The fines for non-compliance are significant. A 2018 successful prosecution for 4,800 tonnes attracted fines of:

  • £440,000 Landfill Tax (LFT).
  • £440,000 Additional Fine (100% of LFT amount).
  • £150,000 Regulator Penalty.

As a business that prides itself on compliance, we welcome this move to address rogue operators within the industry, however we are concerned that non-conformance could be taking place on our partners sites without their knowledge and leaving them financially liable.

If you feel that you or your business are involved in any of the above activities then make sure you are protected. For more information or advice please contact us.