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Rogue waste removal operators could land law-abiding residents in hot water

Residents are being warned about handing over household waste to unscrupulous removal operators who then fly-tip the rubbish – as it could result in court action.

South Derbyshire District Council has reported a rise in the number of cases where someone in a van offers to remove unwanted items from homes for payment, before they are later found dumped in the area.

When the waste is traced back to the original owner, that owner is required to give a recorded interview under caution to the Council’s Safer Neighbourhood Wardens.

Under law, householders have a ‘Duty of Care’ to look after their waste – meaning in some cases they could face court action if it ends up in a hedge bottom or somewhere similar.

South Derbyshire District Council Environmental Health Manager Matt Holford said: “Unfortunately, the story is one we hear all too often – a resident has a quantity of waste from a small-scale renovation or house clearances sitting outside their property which they intend to dispose of.

The likely scenario could be, a man in a van, knocks on their door and offers to remove the waste for a ‘knock-down price’, or the householder see an advertisement on social media promising ‘Tip runs’ from an alleged legitimate operator who tells a convincing story about where the waste will be taken to.

“The householder pays in cash, no receipt is given, and a few days later the same householder gets a call from us telling them their waste has been fly-tipped. They are required to attend an interview under caution – a confusing and often scary experience for law-abiding people who have fallen victim to a con.”

The ‘Duty of Care’ requires householders to take all reasonable measures to ensure the waste that they produce is transferred to a legitimate waste carrier.

Anyone brought in for interview following a Fly-Tipping offence can be faced with either a formal caution and a clean-up bill, a Fixed Penalty Notice, currently set at £400.00 or even a summons to attend court.

If a removal operator calls at the door, residents are urged to:

  • Ask them to provide a full address, telephone number and vehicle registration details.
  • Ask to see their waste carrier’s licence, issued by the Environment Agency; and
  • Contact the Environment Agency directly on 0870 8506 506 and ask for a free instant Waste Carrier Validation Check. Alternatively, they can check the person has a waste carriers’ licence online at

Our advice is simple – if you’re not sure, don’t accept a doorstep offer to pay for the removal of your waste.

We do need people’s help to identify and catch these rogue traders, who are costing the taxpayer money, so we’d urge anyone with information about them to contact us on 01283 595968 or email

A woman resident of Hilton was approached recently by a man in a white van who offered to remove a collection of garage waste for £100.00

The first I knew about a problem was when the Council phoned me. They told me that I would need to come in for a taped interview under caution and that I could bring a solicitor. In the two weeks between getting the phone call and attending the interview I felt sick. Both my partner and I couldn’t sleep, and I felt conned and violated.  I just wish I’d kept the bloke’s details so that the Council have a better chance of catching him.”