Growing fears over ‘man and van’ adverts by rogue traders online

Waste found dumped in a lay-by between Fen Street and Coney Weston  Picutre: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

Waste found dumped in a lay-by between Fen Street and Coney Weston Picutre: WEST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

West Suffolk Council

Social media users in Suffolk who use unregistered waste carriers could find themselves “accidental criminals” and fined £400, the Environment Agency has warned.

Concerns have been raised over the number of “man and van” adverts and self-promotion on Facebook and other social media platforms offering to take away people’s rubbish.

The Environment Agency is warning people that if these traders do not have a waste carrier’s licence, there is no guarantee that rubbish will be disposed of safety and responsibly at an authorised site.

Peter Lennard, of the Environment Agency, said rogue traders undermine legitimate waste businesses.

“Rogue traders using social media to con people into parting with their waste cheaply are the new door steppers,” he said.

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“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, by undercutting their prices and then blighting the environment.”

Mr Lennard said the agency wants people to go through steps to check whether the waste carrier has a licence.

“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,” he said.

“If people suspect criminal activity, they should report it on our national incident hotline 0800 807060 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 and give as much detail as possible,” he added. “Let’s work together to stamp out waste crime and protect our beautiful countryside.”

The Environment Agency added that people have a duty of care to ensure waste is disposed of legally. Failing to meet that duty of care means people could be held responsible and fined up to £400.

People can check for registered waste carriers online here.

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