Monday, 21 November 2011

Bogus Waste Collectors

Warning Over Bogus Waste Collectors

Always check with the Environment Agency
Businesses are being warned to be cautious over arrangements for having waste collected after a Reading restaurant was fined for having its rubbish dumped across the town.

Earlier this year the Reading Borough Council received a number of complaints about bags of food waste that had been dumped in various locations. The waste was traced back to a restaurant, in Kings Road.

Staff there admitted that they had paid an unknown man to take away the waste, despite having a contract with a bona fide waste company. This is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The company was fined £300 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs at Reading Magistrates Court on November 9. The restaurant was also ordered to recompense another local business which had had to pay to have the dumped food waste taken away from its premises.

The case follows a similar successful prosecution by Reading Borough Council earlier this year when two landlords were fined after arranging to have the contents of a flat owned by them cleared out. The waste was then passed on to an unknown man and dumped at Island Road, near the Council's Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Under the Environmental Protection Act all persons have a duty of care in respect of waste transfer/disposal, to ensure that their waste is properly stored and is collected only by an authorised person, or to a person for authorised transport purposes.

Paul Gittings, Reading's Lead Councillor for Environment and Climate Change, said: 'Thankfully businesses and residents of Reading are overwhelmingly law-abiding. However there clearly are some exceptions and both businesses and householders should be aware that the Council will track down and prosecute those who fail to take responsibility for the waste they produce. Uncontrolled dumping of rubbish in our town will not be tolerated. We have a duty to protect our environment for all our residents.'

If residents are having building work or renovation work done, the contractor must be a registered waste carrier if he takes away the waste. If residents are having garden landscaping done, the contractor will also need to be registered if he takes away waste such as walls or fencing. If only green waste is involved, such as tree or shrub prunings, the contractor does not at present need to be registered, but will in the near future.

In many cases, the persons who actually fly tip the waste are never traced, because the business or householder has not taken their details. The costs of clearing up can then fall on the business or householder, or on council tax payers in general.

Members of the public can check with the Environment Agency whether or not a contractor is registered to take away waste by phoning 08708 506506 and asking for a Waste Carrier Validation Check, or by checking the Public Register on the Agency's website 

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