Householders urged to join fight against flytippers
Adam Gretton'Say no and shut the door.'That was the message to householders yesterday after councils urged people to be on their guard against rogue doorstep waste collectors that are fuelling Norfolk's fly-tipping problem.Adam Gretton
'Say no and shut the door.'
That was the message to householders yesterday after councils urged people to be on their guard against rogue doorstep waste collectors that are fuelling Norfolk's fly-tipping problem.
Local authorities are warning residents that they could face prosecution if they allow unwanted old fridges, freezers, televisions, and sofas to be collected by unregistered tradesmen, which are subsequently not properly disposed of.
The alert comes as councils in Norfolk respond to more than 11,000 fly-tipping incidents a year, which costs the taxpayer nearly �600,000 to clear up.
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Council officials yesterday warned that people could face a �50,000 fine if they paid someone to take away and dump their rubbish in the countryside.
South Norfolk Council, which received almost 800 fly-tip reports last year, urged residents to 'shut the door' on unlicensed waste collectors after being contacted by targeted householders.
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David Bills, cabinet member for the environment, said people needed to challenge the credentials of doorstep collectors before using their services.
'Instead of having waste collected cheap, residents can end up collecting a hefty fine and a criminal record. Fly-tipping ruins our countryside and costs all council taxpayers to clear up. It's the individual's responsibility in law to stop it happening too,' he said.
Householders should ask to see a collector's waste carriers licence and can double check they are registered by contacting the Environment Agency. They should also request a receipt with the date and time of collection and a written note of the items and where they are being disposed of.
Officials at Broadland District Council, which spent �65,000 on clearing up fly-tipping in 2008/09, said that 50pc of prosecutions were against people who had irresponsibly passed waste to others without asking the right questions.
Bob Wade, environmental protection manager, said: 'We often trace waste back to people who have paid cash to someone to take their waste away without due care. This head in the sand approach may land the person in trouble. Many reputable businesses and householders have been stung this way - don't be the next.'
A spokesman for North Norfolk District Council said the authority spent �16,000 on dealing with 260 fly-tipping incidents last year, 40pc of which were related to dodgy doorstep waste collectors. In Breckland, the district council spent �82,000 clearing up more than 1,000 fly-tipping incidents in 2008/09.
Contact the Environment Agency on 08708 506506 or visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk to check a collector is registered.