There is a Regional Waste Strategy for the South West. This strategy is helping to address waste issues across the region and sets out how to make the South West a minimum waste region by 2030. (South West Regional Assembly, 2004).
At present the majority of our waste is sent to landfill, and we are currently running out of space. Considerable effort is underway to reduce the amount of waste that we create in the first place as well as to find alternative ways of managing the rest, such as recycling.
Fly tipping of waste is a major issue in the UK. Fly Capture is a national web-based database of fly tipping incidents that went live in April 2004. It contains information on fly tipping incidents and action taken as well as a vehicle registration hot-list that is encouraging joint working between local authorities.
Pollution incidents such as oil spills or the accidental release of raw sewage can damage the environment. Pollution can be fatal for fish and invertebrate life, can pose a threat to human health and degrades habitats. The Environment Agency responds and takes enforcement action against pollution incidents.
Diffuse pollution can arise from many sources, which are generally dispersed and diverse in nature. Derived from current and past land use in both agriculture and urban environments, sources may individually be small but their collective impact can be damaging.
For more information at a local level on waste and other topics, please see the Local Profiles