Social media ‘rubbish removal’ posts
Facebook users in the South West who use unregistered waste carriers could become accidental criminals, warns the Environment Agency.
Waste carriers, like other licenced trades, are required to register and operate in line with a set of rules that protect the environment and their customers. These rules include disposing of waste in the right place, storing it safely and keeping accurate records of transfer and disposal.
Registered waste carriers in the South West 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 carriers’ licence, there is no guarantee rubbish will go to an authorised site. Instead, it could end up dumped on the site of the road or burned in a field, causing environmental damage and the person who hired the unregistered trader could face a criminal charge.
Kevin Baker of the Environment Agency said, “Rogue traders using social media to con people into parting with their waste are the new door steppers. People are then discovering their waste has turned up in a country land 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 their collector has a waste carriers’ 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 hotline 0800 807060 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 and give as much detail as possible. Let’s work together to stamp out waste crime and protect our beautiful countryside.”
All householders have a duty of care to ensure their waste is disposed of legally. Failing to meet the 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.