Northern Ireland’s waste management system is open and highly lucrative to organised crime, according to a report sparked by the discovery of half a million tonnes of illegal waste on the outskirts of Derry.
The report, complied by Chris Mills, the former Director of the Welsh Environment Agency, follows the discovery of 516,000 tonnes of illegal waste at a site in Mobouy Road, Campsie.
It found that the regulation of waste in Northern Ireland is highly vulnerable to criminal infiltration.
The report also highlights the vast profits with low deterrents that criminals can exploit and recommends a review of the north’s entire waste management system.
Mr Mills described the dumping at Mobouy as “a sophisticated operation which had been carried out over a number of years”.
He said it has “the hallmarks of organised crime involvement”.
Stormont’s Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said he would respond to the report’s finding in early 2014.
“It (the report) makes for sober reading. Mr Mills is clear in pointing out that we have serious problems right across our waste systems,” he said.
“Mr Mills provides a set of recommended actions to fix these problems. Given the scale of the problems, the implementation of these actions must be done in a powerful way that creates and delivers fundamental change.
“I am determined that this will happen as quickly as possible so that we can start building a waste system that everyone in Northern Ireland can have confidence in.
“I have directed the new Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency to urgently prepare a robust range of actions for my consideration. I will issue my response to the Mills Report in the New Year so that everyone is clear about the actions that will be taken to fix the problems that Mr Mills has identified.”
A file is being prepared for the Public Prosecution Service in relation to the dumping at Mobouy Road.
Last week a High Court Order was issued that prohibits two companies - City and Industrial Waste and Campsie sand and Gravel - disposing of any property. A restraining order was also placed on four directors from the two companies.
Read more in Friday’s Journal.
You can read the report in full here