The LIFE Smart Waste project

NRW is one of the partners in a Europe-wide LIFE SMART Waste Project. It's a 5-year project to demonstrate innovative ways of understanding, tackling and reducing waste-related crime.

Why do we need this project?

A report that we commissioned from Eunomia, estimated that the economic impact of waste crime  in Wales costs between £15.2 million and £32.4 million.  

Waste streams that are of low quality and value, or are difficult to treat, persistently attract criminal activities that profit at the expense of the environment and legitimate operators in Europe's waste industry. These illegal practices are ever-changing and are not easily visible.

As an environmental regulator, we have a variety of tools that we can use. But, in some cases inspections and enforcement are not necessarily the only answer.

We’ll be working with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, SEPA, and with colleagues here at NRW to help build our intelligence and evidence for key project actions. There will be an emphasis on us being innovative in the way we carry out our investigations and gather our intelligence and it will be a great opportunity for us to test out a lot of new techniques. 

The types of things we're expecting to see at the end of this European LIFE funded project are:

  • new practices and technologies tested and available for use by interested enforcement agencies in Europe

  • reports to relevant EU bodies recommending policy or legislative changes to disrupt or mitigate illegal behaviours in certain waste markets

  • case studies detailing the application of smart, intelligence-led regulation and its benefits

  • training packages and courses for enforcement organisations

The project will run until May 2019

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