If the price to remove your rubbish sounds too good to be true then it almost certainly will be.

Hiring an unlicensed rubbish remover could cost YOU fines of thousands of pounds

You’ve got some rubbish you want to get rid of. It won’t fit in your car so you can’t take it to the local tip. So what do you do?

Easy, you go on Facebook and phone someone you see advertising rubbish clearance. They say they’ll be round the same day and you think they are nice and cheap. Happy days...

Or maybe not such happy days… not when someone from the council turns up a couple of weeks later and you have to give an interview under caution because the man with the van who took your rubbish has fly-tipped it half a mile away.

Councils across the country are experiencing a rise in the number of cases where ‘a man with a van’ offers to remove unwanted items from homes for payment, only to then fly-tip the waste in the area.

These rogue rubbish removers who advertise their services at knock-down prices via social media could land householders and business owners in trouble and facing court action and fines of up to £5,000.

When rubbish is dumped it is the householder who will become liable if it is traced back to them

What can be done?

Local authorities are urging people to be vigilant and to contacts them with any information which might help them to stop dodgy traders and fly-tippers from operating in their area.

Facebook fly-tippers pose online as legitimate waste removal companies and assure householders that the rubbish will be disposed off legally, but when it is dumped it is the householder who will become liable if it is traced back to them.

Councillor Peter Watson, chairman of South Derbyshire District Council’s Environmental and Development Services Committee, said: “Regretfully, no matter how innocent the circumstances, those who pay for the removal of waste are ultimately responsible for its safe and legal disposal, meaning they could end up with a criminal record and a fine of thousands of pounds if it’s then fly-tipped and traced back to them.

People are often conned by rogue collectors who post flyers through the letterbox, cold call at their door or, increasingly, take to social media to promote their services.

All tradespeople must have a waste carriers’ permit to take away rubbish

How can you be sure?

All tradespeople – from builders and plumbers to carpet layers and tree surgeons – must have a waste carriers’ permit to take away rubbish from the work they’ve done, so it’s always wise to ask to see one.

The message is clear – if you’re not sure, don’t accept an offer to pay for the removal of your waste.

If a person or company advertises their rubbish removal services or calls at your door, people are urged to:

  • Ask them to provide a full address, telephone number and vehicle registration details.
  • Ask to see their waste carriers’ licence, issued by the Environment Agency.
  • Contact the Environment Agency directly by telephoning: 0870 8506 506 and ask for a free instant waste carrier validation check. Alternatively, they can check the person has a waste carriers licence by going to this website: https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers
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