Having rubbish removed? Don’t pay cash!

Many of us are quite accustomed to paying cash in hand to have odd jobs done to the house or in the garden – but if you ever need to have rubbish removed, this is the one time you should never pay cash.

Did you know that your rubbish is far more likely to end up fly-tipped if you pay someone cash to remove it? A bona fide waste carrier must pay a commercial tip when they want to dispose of rubbish -an anonymous ‘man with a van’ has a strong financial incentive to avoid the disposal charge – by dumping your rubbish in the countryside.

And there’s a sting in the tail. If we investigate a fly-tipping incident and find evidence that leads us to a householder, we’ll pay them a visit and ask them to provide evidence that they’ve taken reasonable steps to identify the person they hired to remove their rubbish and to ensure that it would be disposed of properly.

If the householder can provide evidence of the identity of the person who took their rubbish away such as details of a bank card payment, the investigation can focus on the fly-tipper. However, if the householder has paid an unidentified individual cash in hand to remove rubbish, we’ll issue them with a £400 fixed penalty notice for failing in their ‘duty of care’. If the incident is serious, this might be escalated to a court summons that could result in a criminal conviction and a hefty fine.

Jilly Jordan, Deputy Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said:

“Fly-tipping is a blight on the Buckinghamshire countryside, and the Council spends over £600,000 a year to clear it from public land – money that could be spent on providing other services to the county’s residents.

“So, if you pay cash in hand to have rubbish removed, you’re making yourself part of the problem.”

If you’re unsure of how to make sure you’re doing the right thing when someone is taking away your rubbish, our S.C.R.A.P. fly-tipping campaign code is a useful tool:

  • S - Suspect all waste carriers; do not let them take your waste until you’re confident they’re legitimate. A professional waste carrier should happily answer reasonable questions.
  • C - Check that a waste carrier is registered on the Environment Agency's website.
  • R - Refuse any unexpected offers to have your rubbish taken away. If you suspect that someone who approaches you will be disposing of waste illegally, report them to the Environment Agency.
  • A - Ask what will happen to your rubbish and assure yourself that it is going to be disposed of appropriately.
  • P - Paperwork must be obtained: a proper invoice, waste transfer note or receipt, including a description of the waste being removed and the waste carriers contact details.
A pile of rubbish on the grass