A resident has seen their opportunity to make a saving turn into a loss after paying a waste carrier £50 ended up costing them hundreds.

Wiltshire Council issued a fixed-penalty notice worth hundreds of pounds to the individual after their waste was dumped at Windmill Hill Plantation in Ludgershall. The penalty is worth £400, or £200 if paid within 10 days, while the person paid just £50 for the waste to be taken away.

Wiltshire Council said: “We desperately want to trace and prosecute the person(s) responsible for dumping rubbish, but we can only trace the fly tippers when residents comply with their duty of care by doing these checks and retaining the information.

The incident occurred after a resident, who has now moved out of the country and cannot be named for legal reasons, paid someone £50 to take away their rubbish for them. However, they didn’t stop to check if the individual had the right license to take their waste away.

As a result, when it was found dumped in Ludgershall, the council tracked it back to the resident, who was unable to provide any details to help identify the flytipper. The person responsible therefore could not be prosecuted.

Mark McClelland, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for waste said: “It is the responsibility of householders to ensure they check and write down the waste carriers license details of anyone who you pay to take waste away. It is also vital that people take down key information on those removing their waste. If they don’t their waste may become fly-tipped and then they could be issued a fixed penalty.

“People should be wary about using a ‘man with a van’ or similar adverts on social media to dispose of waste. Many state they are licensed and are responsible but aren’t and simply take the cash and dump the waste.”

When getting a waste carrier to take waste, you should check their license with the Environment Agency by visiting their website: https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers

Details of their license registration and description should also be kept, in case enforcement officers need to find them later.

If the resident had correctly checked the waste carriers license details with the Environment Agency, provided details about the collectors and vehicle registration/description, this would have allowed Enforcement Officers to trace the offender and the resident would have avoided a Fixed Penalty Notice.