FACEBOOK users in Warwickshire are being urged not to become ‘accidental criminals’.
Waste carriers in the county have raised concerns about the number of ‘man and van’ adverts on social media platforms offering to take away people’s rubbish.
Waste carriers must be registered and operate in line with regulations to protect the environment and customers. They are required to dispose of waste in the right place, store it safely and keep accurate records of its transfer and disposal.
The environment agency says if traders do not have the relevant 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.
And because the person who created the rubbish is legally responsible for it, it is they who could face criminal charges and a fine of up to £400.
A spokesman for 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, undercut their prices and blight the environment.
“We want people to take three steps to check whether the collector has a waste carriers’ license – ask where the rubbish will end up, do not pay cash and insist on a receipt, then record the details of the vehicle used to take the rubbish away.”
If anyone suspects criminal activity they should call the environment agency on 0800 807060 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers to check if a waste carrier has a licence.