Some homeowners are unwittingly contributing to flytipping by handing over waste to cold callers who say they will dispose of it for cash.
Fenland District Council is now urging residents to refuse any such offers after several flytipping cases can be traced back to homeowners or small businesses, who had been approached by rogue unlicensed operators.
Under environmental legislation, householders have a duty to take reasonable measures to ensure that waste produced on their property is passed on to an authorised person. Failure to do so could result in them being prosecuted and fined up to £5,000.
Cllr Peter Murphy, cabinet member responsible for the environment, said: “Many flytippers rely on people not checking where their waste will end up. It is householders’ responsibility to ensure that they only use legitimate waste carriers who will dispose of their waste legally, not the rogue ones who simply take it away and dump it in the countryside.
“We are doing all we can to stop flytipping and we need the public to help us clamp down on the offenders by refusing to hand over waste to unlicensed carriers.”
All legitimate waste carriers carry an Environment Agency certificate of registration which residents should ask to see before handing over their waste.
Builders and allied trades, gardeners, house-clearers and scrap metal dealers should all be registered, as should retailers who remove old domestic goods such as fridges or sofas when they deliver new ones.
The council says householders should always:
· Check whether anyone offering to remove their waste is registered and ask for their waste carrier number. If they are not registered, refuse the service.
· If in doubt, telephone the Environment Agency on 08708 506506 and request an instant Waste Carrier Validation Check or check online at www.gov.uk/environment-agency.
· Make a note of vehicle’s registration number.
The council is currently working with small businesses to ensure that they are using properly licensed carriers. It is also in the process of implementing camera surveillance in selected spots to help identify flytippers and secure the evidence necessary to enable successful prosecutions.
Meanwhile, all household waste can be disposed of at local Household Waste Recycling Centres free of charge. For residents unable to take bulky waste themselves, the council offers a bulky waste collection service for a charge of £25 for up to four items.