Essex households urged not to become accidental waste criminals

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Waste carriers, like other licensed trades, are required to register and operate in line with a set of rules that protect the environment and their customers. These rules require them to dispose of waste in the right place, store it safely and keep accurate records of its transfer and disposal.

Registered waste carriers in Essex have become concerned about the number of ‘man and van’ adverts and self-promotion on Facebook and other social media platforms offering to take away people’s rubbish.

If these traders don’t have a waste carrier’s licence, there is no guarantee rubbish will be disposed of safely and responsibly at an authorised site. Instead, it could end up dumped on the side of the road or burned in a field.

What’s more, because the person who created the rubbish is legally responsible for it, it is they who could face criminal charges.

Peter Lennard of the Environment Agency said:

Rogue traders using social media to con people into parting with their waste cheaply are the new door steppers. People are then discovering their waste has been fly-tipped in a country lane or beside the road. These illegal waste carriers undermine legitimate businesses, by undercutting their prices and then blighting the environment.

We want people to take 5 steps to check whether the collector has a waste carrier’s licence from the Environment Agency: ask where the rubbish will end up, don’t pay cash and insist on a receipt, then record the details of the vehicle used to take the rubbish away.

If people suspect criminal activity, they should report it on our national incident hotline 0800 807060 or anonymously through CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 and give as much detail as possible. Let’s work together to stamp out waste crime and protect our beautiful countryside.

Everyone has a duty of care to ensure their waste is disposed of legally. Failing to meet that duty of care means that people could be held responsible if their waste is fly-tipped or otherwise illegally disposed of. If this happens and they have not met their duty of care, they could be fined up to £400.

Before hiring someone to remove waste, check their credentials online, on our Public Register.

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