Households in Yorkshire who use unregistered waste carriers through social media platforms could find themselves becoming “accidental criminals”, the Environment Agency warns.
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 regulations require them to dispose of waste in the right place, store it safely and keep accurate records of the transfer and disposal.
The Environment Agency said registered waste carriers in Yorkshire 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.
Traders without a waste carriers’ licence could end up dumping the waste on the side of the road or burn it in a field and because the person who created the rubbish is legally responsible for it, they could face criminal charges.
Jacqui Tootill, Area Environment Manager at 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’ 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.”