Published: Wednesday, 12th April 2017

Make sure your waste collection company is licensed and legitimate.

Businesses and homes across the Harrogate district are being urged to make sure they use licensed and legitimate companies to remove their waste.

Harrogate Borough Council is urging vigilance following a number of fly tipping incidents which have been traced back to companies who claim they dispose of waste correctly but who are in fact just dumping it at the side of the road and on private ground.

Under environmental legislation, anyone who produces, imports, keeps, stores, transports, treats or disposes of waste must take all reasonable steps to ensure that waste is managed properly. Fly-tipping is a serious criminal offence for which offenders can be prosecuted. The courts have various powers available to them to tackle fly-tipping, including imprisonment, unlimited fines, orders to pay costs and an order to deprive rights to a vehicle used to commit the offence.

The council is also making householders and businesses aware that they, too, could face enforcement action and could be fined if their waste hasn't been disposed of correctly.

The council is urging everyone to check that the people removing their waste are authorised to do so by:

  • asking the waste carrier to provide their full address and telephone number
  • asking to see their waste carrier licence issued by the Environment Agency or
  • contacting the Environment Agency directly on 0870 850 6506 and asking for a free instant Waste Carrier Validation Check, or checking online on the Environment Agency website at www.gov.uk/guidance/access-the-public-register-for-environmental-information

Using unauthorised companies has led to a number of incidents of fly-tipping across the district in recent weeks.

Dean Richardson is Harrogate Borough Council's Head of Safer Communities. He said:

"There are a number of unscrupulous organisations currently operating in the Harrogate district who claim to be legitimate waste removal companies but are simply taking people's money and then just dumping the waste.

"We are urging people to be extremely vigilant when looking to use the services of a waste company and to do all they can to make sure they are using a legitimate service.

"Warning signs that the company may not be licensed include the company not having the right paperwork, providing only a mobile contact telephone number or providing a quote for removing the waste that is much, much cheaper than any other.

"Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

The council has a domestic bulky waste collection service; for more information go to www.harrogate.gov.uk/bulkywastearticles.