Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Environmental Crime Unit (ECU) is warning people against using unregistered waste collectors – as it could cost them up to £5000.
The warning comes as Christmas packaging and waste builds up over the festive period – but getting rid of that waste can have serious consequences for both the environment and the people involved.
The ECU is investigating reports that people are offering to remove waste for people all over the city, and then illegally fly tip that material in other parts of Stoke-on-Trent and beyond. If that material is found with details of people who gave it to the fly tippers though, it is that person who can face a hefty fine.
Now the team is asking for the public’s help in identifying the rogue fly tippers, and also refusing to use an unregistered service.
“These people may look professional, but in reality they are making money through collecting people’s rubbish then dumping it wherever they feel like.
“Unless the team catches them in the act, the trail can only lead back to the person who paid them – and it’s that person who could face the fine.
“Waste collections have still been in operation over Christmas, and the bulky waste collection is available to people via Stoke On Call on 01782 234234.
“It’s better for people to use that than run the risk of being tracked down by the Environmental Crime Unit, who would have no choice other than to issue them with the fine, rather than the people who have dumped it.”
The Environmental Crime Unit with be in contact with surrounding authorities, to work with them to resolve these cases and any evidence they may have that link to these rogue waste companies.
People can tell if a private waste company is legitimate by checking the Environment Agency’s website. All of these companies should have a waste carrier licence card and a waste carrier licence number.
“You should always ask these companies if they have a waste carrier licence card, or at least a registered number, and you should always get some kind of receipt to show who the people are that have collected your waste.
“You are responsible for the waste if it is illegally disposed of unless you can show you took all reasonable steps to prevent the offence from happening.”
People can search for a private waste collection company on the Environment Agency website here: http://www2.environment-agency.gov.uk/epr/search.asp?id=EP8&&type=register
People can search by postcode, town, company name and the waste carrier license number.
People can also call the general enquiry desk on 08708 506 506 (Mon-Fri, 8am – 6pm) or urgent enquiries can be addressed to the hotline number on 0800 807060 (Freephone, 24 hour service).