Eight van drivers caught in joint council and police operation targeting flytippers
The joint operations were aimed at catching van and lorry drivers who illegally transport waste materials. This is often dumped in the street leaving taxpayers picking up the bill for the clean up.
Strict environmental protection laws prohibit the transport of waste by unregistered and unlicensed contractors. This is to ensure that the waste is lawfully disposed of rather then being dumped on a street corner.
In the two operations, staff in the council's waste enforcement team were joined by officers from the Met Police's transport hub team in stopping suspect vehicles in Garratt Lane and also in Smuggler's Way, Wandsworth.
Around 100 vans and lorries were stopped so that the driver's credentials could be checked. Eight drivers were given £300 on-the-spot fines for not having a license to carry waste, while a ninth is currently being investigated on suspicion of fraud.
Environment spokesman Cllr Sarah McDermott said the public needed to be very careful about who they employ to take away waste.
"We have lots of problems with van drivers who are on the lookout for homes that are being renovated, having building work done or are having a big clear-out. They see that the owners have a lot of waste that needs removing and will knock at the door and offer a cheap deal to do the job.
"Unfortunately many of these drivers have no intention of disposing of this waste lawfully and instead they simply drive around the corner and dump it in the street. That is why I would call on people not to employ these fly-by-night clearance firms. They may offer you a cheap deal, but in most cases it is illegal to use them."
Residents employing a waste removal firm should always ask to see the relevant waste transfer notes to ensure it is being disposed of lawfully and they should also ask to see a waste carriers licence.
Companies that offer to transport and remove waste on behalf of others must have a carrier’s license. These can be obtained from the Environment Agency and they last for three years.
Companies working in this industry must also retain for two years documents showing where the waste came from and where it was taken to be disposed of. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to hefty fines and even prison sentences.
Residents wanting rubbish cleared can contact the council on (020) 8871 8558. The council will remove waste for a modest fee. If households choose a licenced private contractor instead they must make sure they get a proper receipt.
Anyone with information about cowboy operators dumping rubbish should telephone the council's street care team on (020) 8871 6396. All calls will be treated in confidence.
September 9, 2010