Don't Pay Cowboys To Take Away Waste

Council urges residents to use its own low cost services

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The council is asking residents to ignore cold callers who knock on doors and offer a cheap deal to take away rubbish.

The message is designed to prevent flytips on street corners caused by cowboy operators who offer to dispose of waste cheaply but then simply dump it.

The warning follows an incident last week when a resident in Tooting, whose home is being refurbished, paid a van driver to remove his waste which was subsequently dumped on Tooting Common. The householder is now facing prosecution by the council for breaching environmental protection laws.

If residents employ an unscrupulous operator and their waste is then dumped illegally, then they are jointly liable and also run the risk of prosecution.

The onus is on the owner of the waste to make sure it is disposed of lawfully. Anyone convicted of this offence could face an unlimited fine and/or a jail term of up to six months.

The council’s environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: "If someone knocks on your door and offers to take away any DIY or home improvement waste or unwanted furniture 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.

“It’s also important to make sure that if you are employing builders to carry out works to your property that you know exactly how they’re disposing of any waste materials.” 

If you are employing a waste removal firm always ask to see the relevant waste transfer notes to ensure it is being disposed of lawfully and 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.

Residents wanting rubbish cleared can call the town hall on (020) 8871 8558. The council will remove waste for a modest fee. If households choose a licensed private contractor instead they must make sure they get a proper receipt.

Anyone with information about cowboy operators dumping rubbish should telephone (020) 8871 8446. All calls will be treated in confidence.


June 15, 2015