Environment Agency warns of rogue trader increase in Shropshire

Residents in Shropshire that use rogue traders to dispose of waste could find themselves "accidental criminals", the Environment Agency has warned.

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 rules require them to dispose of waste in the right place, store it safely and keep accurate records of its transfer and disposal.

Registered waste carriers throughout the county have become concerned about the number of ‘man and van’ adverts and self-promotion on 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 be disposed of safely and responsibly at an authorised site. Instead, it could end up fly-tipped on the side of the road or burned in a field. As the person who created the rubbish is legally responsible for it, it is them who could face criminal charges.

A spokesperson from 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 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 national incident hotline or anonymously through Crimestoppers and give as much detail as possible. Let’s work together to stamp out waste crime and protect our beautiful countryside.”

Before hiring someone to remove waste, check their credentials online at environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers

To report any suspicious activity to the Environment Agency, contact 0800807060. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.

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