Householders in Wales urged to steer clear of illegal rubbish removal operators advertising on social media
Fly-tipping Action Wales is urging householders across Wales to manage their rubbish responsibly and be vigilant when accepting offers from individuals posing as legitimate waste disposal businesses on social media during the coronavirus lockdown.
Householders are also encouraged to postpone garden and home DIY projects until lockdown restrictions are lifted, unless they are able to safely store excess waste at their property without causing health and safety risks, such as fire hazards.
The stern warning and key messages from Fly-tipping Action Wales follow concerns from local authorities over the number of people offering illegal rubbish removal services in community groups such as those found on Facebook, which they fear has increased since social distancing restrictions were enforced in Wales.
While many people are already minimising their waste production and disposing of it correctly, householders are reminded that they have a legal duty of care to check with Natural Resources Wales that the person they use to remove rubbish from their home is a registered waste carrier — particularly at this time of national emergency.
In line with health and safety advice issued by DEFRA, all Household Waste Recycling Centres in Wales are closed until further notice.
Therefore, Fly-tipping Action Wales warn that householders are at an increased risk of being scammed by unregistered individuals, who are taking advantage of lockdown restrictions by offering cheap rubbish removal services. These individuals often dump the waste illegally in fields, on roadsides and along country-lanes.
If a waste enforcement officer traces fly-tipped rubbish back to a householder who did not make the appropriate checks for a registered waste carrier, they risk an unlimited fine and prosecution. Local authorities across Wales can also issue the householder with a £300 fixed penalty notice as an alternative to prosecution.
A list of registered waste carriers, which should be used to carry out these vital checks, can be found on the Natural Resources Wales website.
Fly-tipping Action Wales also recommend that people ask where their rubbish is going, request a receipt from the company used to remove the waste and record details of the vehicle involved, including make, model and registration number.