The U.K.’s Environment Agency calls waste crime — where instead of delivering recycling or rubbish for proper disposal, companies simply dump it in the countryside — “the new narcotics” because it’s so easy to make money illegally. It’s estimated that one in every five U.K. waste companies operates in this manner ('fly-tipping'), and the government seems powerless to stop it: it’s so easy to be registered as one of the government’s recommended waste haulers that even a dog can do it — and at least one has, as this episode shares.
In part 2 of our new investigative podcast series, the team also speaks with a lawyer who describes her year-long campaign to get the government to deal with a single illegal dump site, but they fail to act before it catches fire, in an emblematic 'trash fire' for this whole issue. They also speak with a former official at Interpol who shares that his agency also lacks the resources to tackle the problem.
In a three-part, “true eco-crime” series for Mongabay’s podcast, our hosts trace England’s towering illegal waste problem: investigative environmental journalists Lucy Taylor and Dan Ashby follow this illegal 'waste trail' from their quiet English town to the nearby countryside and as far away as Poland.
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This episode is "The Jungle" and is part two of the podcast series, "Into the Wasteland," developed with the support of Journalismfund.eu.
Banner image: The U.K.’s recyclables, plastic packaging and waste soils the countryside across the country and as far away as Turkey (pictured). Image courtesy of Caner Ozkan via Greenpeace Media Library.
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