A Grantham woman who was almost prosecuted for fly-tipping through little fault of her own has spoken out in a bid to warn others.
Roseanne Nugent was shocked when she received a letter from South Kesteven District Council informing her that waste dumped in Welby was found with her address on.
Ten days earlier she had been approached by two men who offered to remove the waste in her garden for £50. Keen to get rid of the rubbish, which included an old kitchen, she agreed.
But she failed to check the men were licensed waste carriers and ended up in the firing line when the items were fly-tipped. She was identified by a note on a vacuum cleaner box which displayed her name and address.
Mrs Nugent said: “I was shocked and upset when I saw the letter. It was just naivety as I wanted the mess out of the way so my children were safe to play in the garden.
“I was not aware that I needed to check if they were licensed and where the waste was going to be left.
“It’s really annoying paying someone out of your own pocket, trusting them to get rid of the rubbish responsibly and then they dump it like that.”
Anyone who does not check that the person removing their waste has a licence to do so, and fails to check where the waste is going to be disposed of, faces a criminal prosecution and fine of up to £5,000.
As such, the message from SKDC’s portfolio holder for healthy environment, Councillor John Smith, is to use only licensed collectors.
He said: “Once waste leaves your home or premises it is your responsibility to check the service you use holds a Waste Carrier’s Licence and where the waste will be disposed of to avoid committing an offence. This is a clear way we can reduce fly-tipping.
“Rogue waste collectors unfortunately operate in the district without these licenses and, as Mrs Nugent has found out, SKDC is committed to prosecuting those who flout the rules.
“On this occasion we have decided to give Mrs Nugent a warning as she genuinely believed the waste was going to be disposed of at an approved centre.”
For scrap metal collectors, householders need to ask to see documentation that is issued by SKDC. Any other waste carrier must show residents licences issued by the Environment Agency, so they can do their part to avoid unlicensed carriers fly-tipping in the district or elsewhere.
It is an offence for a scrap metal collector to fail to display the licence and offenders face a £1,000 fine.
If residents are approached by an unlicensed waste collector contact SKDC on 01476 406080 and note any vehicle details.