Wandsworth council is urging its residents to reject cold callers who knock on doors and offer a cheap deal to take away their rubbish.
The pro-active message is designed to prevent a rash of flytipping on street corners caused by cowboy operators who offer to dispose of waste cheaply but then simply dump it, leaving taxpayers to foot the clean up bill.
“If someone knocks on your door and offers to take away any DIY or home improvement waste or rubble that’s being stored in your front garden, then there is a good chance they will take your money, drive around the corner and simply dump it in the street or a local park,” warned the council’s environment spokesman cllr Jonathan Cook.
“It’s also important to make sure that if you are employing builders to carry out works to your property you know exactly how they’re disposing of any waste materials.”
Strict environmental protection laws prohibit the transport of waste by unregistered and unlicensed contractors. This is to ensure the waste is lawfully disposed of and not illegally dumped.
Residents employing a waste removal firm should always ask to see the relevant waste transfer notes to ensure it is being disposed of lawfully and they should also ask to see a waste carrier’s licence.
Companies that offer to transport and remove waste on behalf of others must have a carrier’s license issued by the Environment Agency.
Further, the council warned: if residents make the mistake of employing a cowboy operator and their waste is then dumped, then they too run the risk of prosecution.
The onus is on the owner of the waste to make sure it is disposed of lawfully. The maximum penalty for breaching these important environmental protection laws is a fine of up to £5,000 on conviction in the magistrate’s court or an unlimited fine in the crown court, said Wandsworth council.