The Environment Agency will carry out a series of raids across 30 illegal waste sites in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire today.
It will be the biggest sting of its kind ever carried out in a single day across the area. Six officers will visit sites in the two counties on Thursday, March 7.
22 sites across Lincolnshire will be visited including in Brigg, Spalding, Boston, and Lincoln.
Officers will follow up on specific reports of waste burned illegally by commercial ventures. Illegal waste activity was estimated to have cost more than £600m in 2015 in England alone.
The Environment Agency teams will provide advice and guidance to legitimate businesses. They will also make follow-up visits to sites where criminal and illegal activities are confirmed.
Evidence gathered from the visits will be used against those breaking the law. Further enforcement action could include work with partners such as local authorities, police and HMRC.
Anyone convicted of illegal waste activity could face extensive fines or even prison sentences.
Enforcement team leader at the Environment Agency Mark Rumble said: “Waste criminals like those we’re tracking down today flout the law and put our communities and our environment at risk. That’s why we take waste crime extremely seriously and will do everything we can to bring those responsible to account.
“These visits have been organised as a direct result of reports from local people, so we’d urge anyone with information about illegal activities to call our 24 hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers.
“Together with legitimate businesses and local communities, we can tackle crime in the waste sector, make a difference for our environment and make a better society for everyone.”
Nationally good progress has been made in tackling waste crime. Between 2011 and 2017 the Environment Agency stopped over 5400 illegal waste sites. An average of two illegal waste sites are shut down each day.