Watch out for the cowboy contractors

PUBLISHED: 11:48 06 January 2006 | UPDATED: 13:21 28 May 2010

HOUSEHOLDERS in Fenland are being warned not to get caught out by cowboy contractors offering to take away their rubbish. A new law designed to stop flytipping means that the onus is now on householders to make sure their rubbish is properly disposed off

HOUSEHOLDERS in Fenland are being warned not to get caught out by cowboy contractors offering to take away their rubbish.

A new law designed to stop flytipping means that the onus is now on householders to make sure their rubbish is properly disposed off and not dumped by unscrupulous traders.

Some contractors charge to take rubbish away. That should include disposal, but it ends up being flytipped, costing local authorities thousands of pounds to clear up the mess.

The new legislation means that if that rubbish is traced back to the household it came from, the householder could now be fined up to £5,000.

Fenland Council has a good track record of dealing with flytipping due to the introduction of the Rapid Response Team nearly two years ago to tackle this environmental problem.

Between January and October this year, the team responded to 2,068 requests to remove flytipping, and responded to 2,010 of them within 24 hours.

This legislation does not affect the normal refuse and recycling rubbish collections, or bulky waste collections run by Fenland.

Neither does it affect residents taking waste to any of the three household waste recycling centres in Wisbech, March and Whittlesey.

If using a waste carrier other than the council, residents should ask to see a copy of the waste carrier's licence, which is issued to all legal carriers by the Environment Agency.

The agency can also be contacted on 08708 506506, or check details online at

www.environment-agency.gov.uk/publicregister where a list of all registered operators is available.

This new legislation brings householders into line with businesses, which have had a 'duty of care' on their trade waste for several years.

Councillor Fred Yeulett, the portfolio holder for Council Enforcement, said: "We hope that this advice helps householders to be responsible when it comes to their rubbish.

However, enforcement is a key priority for the council and we are committed to making full use of powers available to deal with enviro-offences such as flytipping which is detrimental to everyone's quality of life.

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