Planning to redecorate, buy new furniture or have a clear out in the run-up to Christmas? Don’t get conned by fly-tippers.
Rogue businesses are on the prowl, using cold calling and social media to offer too-good-to-be-true rates to dispose of waste. They may target older and vulnerable residents but this could land residents in trouble.
Householders are responsible for their rubbish from the time it leaves their home until it reaches an authorised location. This ‘duty of care’ is an important weapon against waste crime. When fly-tipped waste is traced back to its owner, the householder faces either a fixed-penalty fine of £250 or up to £5,000 if it goes to Court.
Residents can help in the fight against fly-tipping by remembering three simple steps: ‘Ask, Record, Keep’. When hiring someone to dispose of waste:
Ask: Ask where the waste is going; ask to see the waste carrier licence. This information can be checked online against the Environment Agency’s public register of waste carriers or by calling 03708 506 506. Legitimate businesses will be happy to share this information.
Record: Write down or take a photograph of the vehicle registration number, colour, make and model of the vehicle. Record the permit or exemption number, the name of the business and any other information that could be used to locate the company should the authorities need to do so.
Keep: Keep a proper invoice and receipt for the transaction which includes the business details of a registered operator.
Tom Stannard, Corporate Director for Economic Growth and Regeneration, said: “Rogue businesses don’t care where the rubbish ends up. Not only do they commit a criminal offence, they also unfairly undercut legitimate businesses who do take their environmental responsibilities seriously, but worst of all, their actions could land residents in trouble and cost them anywhere from £250 to £5,000 in fines.
“Residents have a duty of care to make sure their rubbish is disposed of correctly. It’s easy to remember the three steps: ask where the waste is going and to see the waste carrier licence, record all the details so the company can be traced if needed and keep an invoice or official record of the transaction.
“Remember if a company or individual offers you a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Unlicensed waste carriers are more likely to cut corners to offer cheaper prices.”
By the end of November each household will receive an updated collection calendar for the festive period and 2020. Information is also available on the Where I Live web page.
Household Waste Recycling Centres are open as normal over the festive period, except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, when they will be closed. All Bring Sites will be available over the festive period.