A seemingly friendly neighbour who promised to take a resident's old fridge to a recycling centre but then dumped it in the Daventry countryside has escaped a fine.
Instead, the owner of the fridge freezer was hit with a £400 fine thanks to new laws giving councils the power to fine those who hand their rubbish to unlicensed operators who go on to fly-tip it.
The neighbour had offered to take several unwanted items, including the fridge, to the recycling centre – but left them in a field near Church Brampton.
Cllr Richard Auger, health and housing portfolio holder at Daventry District Council, said: "Councils and other agencies are doing all they can to target criminals who illegally dump waste, but residents can play a role in this too, by ensuring they only use licensed, responsible operators.
"Many unlicensed waste operators target people via social media, offering cheap rates to remove unwanted furniture, white goods and other bulky items – but I would urge people not to be taken in - if the collection and disposal price is very low it is likely the contractors are not paying for the waste to be properly disposed of, and will simply dump it instead.
"In addition to blighting the land, this practice also undermines the operation of legitimate licensed waste contractors.
"Please protect yourself by taking a few simple steps to check that the person you are giving your waste to is licensed to dispose of it properly, and let's work together to tackle these criminals."
Daventry District Council also fined two other people for leaving their rubbish in the hands of unlicensed carriers.
One resident was fined £400 after rubbish they had paid someone to dispose of was found left by the side of a lane between Whilton and Little Brington.
And a plumber was issued with a £300 fine after paying two men in a van £80 to dispose of trade waste which ended up being thrown by the side of the road.
The enforcement action taken by the council (DDC) is part of a national crackdown on criminals who charge householders to take away their rubbish and then dump it illegally.
The local authority wants people to make sure they check that anyone they ask to remove their rubbish is properly licensed and to protect themselves by taking the following steps:
- Check they hold a waste carrier licence. You can check by visiting the Environment Agency website athttps://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/index or by calling 03708 506506
- Ask to see a copy of the licence and check that is has not expired
- Get a written receipt with a description of the waste and details of where it is being taken
- Note down details of the vehicle that is taking your waste away.
Anyone who witnesses the illegal dumping of waste can report it to the council at www.daventrydc.gov.uk/online.
A range of household goods can be recycled at the household waste and recycling centres at Daventry and Brixworth, while DDC’s waste and recycling collections partner Daventry Norse operates a bulky waste collection service for larger items.