THE owner of a house clearance company has warned people about paying others to take their rubbish away after several tonnes was dumped in a beauty spot near her home.

Debbie Thompson runs Local House Clearance Company and has a licence to dispose of rubbish she collects from people’s homes, but said many people who are being paid to pick up waste don’t have a licence and so end up illegally fly-tipping.

The mother-of-one came across a couple of tonnes of rubbish discarded at the end of a lane in a wooded area in Shipton Bellinger on July 9.

“There was glass in there and all sorts. It looks like it’s from a flatbed,” she said, adding: “What frustrates me and what makes me really angry is it is a blot on our countryside.”

The 55-year-old believes the problem of fly-tipping is increasing partly because of the number of people who post on local Facebook pages asking for someone to take their rubbish away. Debbie is warning them to check that anyone taking away rubbish has a licence, otherwise the original owner could end up being fined if they can be identified by the contents.

She said: “People go on Facebook and say ‘can someone do a dump run?’ That’s illegal. No one can take your waste and take it somewhere for free. They are breaking the law and people aren’t asking to see a licence. You have to do your checks to make sure it’s legitimate.”

She has appealed to the admins of various Facebook pages to crack-down on people asking for ‘dump runs’ but said so far she hasn’t had a response.

“People are asking for someone to get rid of their waste and then it gets dumped. They need to ask to see a waste carrier licence, because the council will sue them. Normally people doing illegal dump runs don’t give their details. When I go and see a customer, I show my waste carrier licence, there’s complete openness. It is also recycled,” she explained.

The fly-tipping Debbie found in Shipton Bellinger was on privately owned land, and the landlord was informed.

Environmental portfolio holder, at Test Valley Borough Council, Cllr Alison Johnston, said: “There are many reputable and reliable waste carriers in Test Valley though unfortunately there remains a number of people who operate illegally. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is for residents to check that the person or company they are using has the relevant licences.

“Your waste is your responsibility and if you end up using someone who goes on to fly-tip your rubbish then it will be your door we will be knocking on. Anyone can check if a waste carrier is correctly licensed on the Environment Agency’s website. It takes two minutes and could potentially save you from a fine, a day in court and a criminal record.”