A campaign to highlight the damage unlicensed waste carriers cause is launching today (Monday).
As part of the Keep Kent Clean campaign, Kent County Council, together with the district and borough authorities, is urging residents to protect themselves from illegal waste carriers who often target householders with cheap rates to take their rubbish away.
These unlicensed carriers often dump the waste along country lanes or farmers’ fields, leaving the bill for removal and disposal with the council or landowner.
But if the waste is traced back to its original source, it can leave people with a fine of up to £400.
KCC’s Cabinet Member for Environment Susan Carey said: “Unless you are using someone who has a waste carrier licence number and who provides you with enough details of where they are disposing of the waste, you cannot guarantee where your rubbish will end up.
“If it gets dumped and traced back to you, the waste is still your responsibility and you can be prosecuted by your local district council unless you can show you have checked they are legitimate.
“Over 90% of fly-tipped waste we see in the county could have been disposed of for free at one of the 18 KCC household waste recycling centres or from a kerbside collection by their local council.
“Fly tipping by unscrupulous criminals is an environmental crime blighting our countryside, towns and cities. I hope the messages comes across loud and clear – protect yourself, don’t employ rogue traders, use one of the many legitimate waste disposal companies in Kent and let’s wipe out flytipping.”
KCC operates 18 HWRCs, providing facilities for the recycling and disposal of more than 30 different types of waste. District and borough councils also offer bulky waste collections.
Each year Kent’s household waste sites receive approximately 185,000 tonnes of waste and 3.5 million visits, at a cost of approximately £10 million to the taxpayer.
KCC is increasing its investment in waste and is working on plans to open a new HWRC serving the Tonbridge and Malling area.
Residents are advised to check the waste management operator they use is a registered waste carrier:
- Registration documents should available on request and should be inspected before services are rendered or money paid.
- You can check environmental permits and waste carriers’ licences online by searching the EA public registers or call 03708 506506.
- Get a written receipt/transfer note complete with contact details, a description of waste removed and details of where the waste is being taken to.
- Note down the vehicle type, colour and registration number of the vehicle that’s taking your waste away.
- Report suspected waste crime to the EA incident hotline 0800 807060 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.