Agency issues warning over ‘man and van’ ads

The Environment Agency has warned people in the South West of England to be wary of adverts on social media offering to take away rubbish, stating that people could become “accidental criminals” if this is later fly-tipped.  

The warning from the Agency said people could become ‘accidental criminals’ if waste is later fly-tipped

In a statement this morning, 1 September, the Agency said that registered waste carriers in the South West have become concerned about 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 statement said that if these traders do not have a waste carriers’ licence, “there is no guarantee rubbish will go to an authorised site. Instead, it could end up dumped on the side of the road or burned in a field, and the person who hired the unregistered trader could face a criminal charge”.  

The Agency reiterated that 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 include disposing of waste in the right place, storing it safely and keeping accurate records of transfer and disposal. 

Kevin Baker of the Environment Agency said: “Rogue traders using social media to con people into parting with their waste are the new door steppers. People are then discovering their waste has turned up in a country lane or beside the road. These illegal waste carriers undermine legitimate businesses, undercut their prices and blight the environment.

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

Kevin Baker, Environment Agency

“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.”

The Agency issued a reminder that all householders have a duty of care to ensure their waste is disposed of legally.  

Failing to meet the duty of care means that people could be held responsible if their waste is fly-tipped or otherwise illegally disposed of. “If this happens and they have not met their duty of care, they could be fined up to £400,” the statement added. 

22 October, Waste Crime Conference, Virtual Online Event 

Waste Crime will be on the agenda at the Virtual Waste Crime Conference, to be held on 22 October. More information can be found  HERE. The event is organised by‘s parent company, the Environment Media Group.

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