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Don't let unlicensed waste removers ruin Christmas

With households expected to fill with Christmas packaging, don't let unlicensed waste removers spoil the festivities.

Police, councils and the Environment Agency are warning about the increased risk of fly tipping as households try to clear their homes of packaging, leftovers, decorations and even Christmas trees.

Wait for your regular rubbish and recycling collection, and if you have too much for your bins, be patient and hold onto your waste until the next collection.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: "Litter and fly-tipping is environmental vandalism – it’s unpleasant, unnecessary and unacceptable. Fly tipping is illegal for a reason – it’s dangerous, unsightly, terrible for the environment and it costs councils tens of millions of pounds a year to clean up."

If you do want to hire someone to take away your rubbish, don’t share their punishment if they are caught fly tipping. Follow the Environment Agency’s SCRAP code:

  • Suspect all waste carriers. Don't let them take your rubbish until they provide proof of registration. Note their vehicle's registration plate.
  • Check that a waste carrier is registered on the Environment Agency's website.
  • Refuse any unexpected offers to have your rubbish taken away.
  • Ask how your rubbish will be disposed of - seek evidence of this.
  • Paperwork must be obtained: a proper invoice, waste transfer note or receipt, including a description of the waste being removed and the waste carrier’s contact details.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill set up the Dorset Fly Tipping Group multi-agency partnership. He said: “Although some people think of fly tipping as a low level problem, there’s certainly nothing insignificant about it for residents who are affected.

“It’s a blight that makes areas appear run down and creates potential health hazards, while many of those who are responsible are organised criminals who think they can make  profitable enterprises by turning our streets, parks and fields into their own personal dumping grounds.”

The Clean Devon Partnership is also urging residents to be aware they have a duty of care when it comes to disposing of their rubbish.

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly said: “The most recent Rural Crime Survey told us that 57% of respondents had seen evidence of fly tipping in their communities, up 6% from the previous survey.

“I also know from talking to members of the public at events like our rural crime team surgeries that there is increasing anger and frustration at mess left by people who want to dodge their responsibilities by failing to dispose of waste correctly.”

When disposing of rubbish, you have a duty of care to see it go to the right place or be fined up to £400 if your waste is fly tipped. Don’t pay twice, make sure you 

check your waste carrier’s licence, find out where it’s going and get the right paperwork.

If you see fly tipping in progress, you can call 999 and report the registration of the vehicle. 

Fly tipping in Dorset can be reported via Dorset Council Tip Off webpage

Fly tipping in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole can be reported to

Membership of the Dorset Fly Tipping Group includes BCP Council, Dorset Council, Dorset Police, Environment Agency, National Farmers’ Union, Country Landowners Association, National Trust and Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Membership of the Clean Devon Partnership includes local authorities, Environment Agency, Highways England, Dartmoor National Park, Exmoor National Park, National Farmers’ Union, Office of Police and Crime Commissioner, Devon and Cornwall Police Constabulary, Federation of Small Businesses, Devon Communities Together, Devon Association of Local Councils, Devon Wildlife Trust, Forestry England, Country Landowners Association, Devon and Somerset Trading Standards.


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