How to spot a scam waste collection

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Date: 17 January 2022

Two men collect waste disposal bins and load them into a waste disposal truck

Rogue waste collectors are costing unsuspecting businesses and homeowners hundreds of pounds a year and costing local authorities thousands due to illegal dumping and fly-tipping.

It's important to be aware of scams from rogue collector's advertising to take away your rubbish, only to dump it illegally.

Although you may not be the one dumping the waste, if it's discovered to be your rubbish that's been dumped, you could face substantial fines of up to £5,000 and face a criminal record if you can't prove you used a disposal service.

Homeowners have a duty of care when disposing of waste.

Businesses have a duty of care too, but they are also required to take a range of other steps such as keeping waste to a minimum, checking the waste carrier is registered and completing a waste transfer note for each load. There are additional measures if the waste is hazardous.

So, how can you protect yourself from scam waste collectors?

Here's our top tips.

Check for signage on any waste disposal vans

Man and van services are the most common way for scammers to remove your waste.

When the van turns up, check that it has signage like the company name, the name of owner, a phone number (ideally a landline), a website, email address, company registration number, business address.

Any legitimate waste collection van will have some or all of these details included on their collection vans.

If a van has none of this, it could be a rogue collector.

How do they take payment?

If your waste disposal driver asks you to pay cash and doesn't offer you a receipt, then you should be very wary.

Most waste collection companies will expect a digital payment or will at least give you a receipt for a cash payment.

You need to complete a waste transfer note or a document with the same information, such as an invoice, for each load of non-hazardous waste you move off your premises.

Failing to get proof of payment from a waste disposal company is a sure way you could end up being fined if your waste is dumped illegally.

This is because you'll have no proof that you paid to have it removed by a company.

If you can't get a receipt or proof of purchase, don't use the services.

Can you find the company online?

Most waste disposal companies have an online presence today.

Many offer the ability to get your quotes and pay online.

They should include their company registration details on the website and the relevant information like address and phone number.

Do they have a waste licence?

Legitimate waste removal companies must have a waste carrier licence to deal with any domestic or commercial waste disposal. You can check if the company is registered on the Environment Agency website.

They should also have valid insurance.

These licenses allow legitimate companies to buy, sell or transport waste and without one, they shouldn't be collecting your waste.

If the person who arrives to remove your waste can't produce a valid licence, you should not use them.

Do they have reviews from other customers?

Any experienced waste collection service should have reviews or testimonials from previous customers.

These are the best ways to judge whether you're using a legitimate, or reliable waste disposal service.

The service is significantly cheaper

When you're looking for a waste disposal service, you shouldn't just pick the first one you see.

The best thing is to get a couple of different quotes and check a few companies.

If one quote is significantly cheaper than the others, this could be a sign that the collector isn't legitimate.

What to check in an advert

If you're responding to a waste disposal advert, there's a few things you can check. For example, is there a company registration number in the advert you can check or is there a company address or a URL?

If significant company details are missing from any adverts, it could be best to avoid that service.

Avoid becoming a victim of waste removal scams

If you need your household, garden or commercial waste disposed of you should take every step possible to ensure it's being disposed of correctly.

When you're looking for a waste removal company, make sure you take steps to check your company is legitimate you could use a company like LITTA, they offer nationwide rubbish clearance.

If you ever have doubts about a company, you should alert the local and other relevant authorities.

Copyright 2022. Featured post made possible by LITTA.

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