Did you know you could face an unlimited fine and criminal prosecution if your household waste is dumped illegally?

Flytipping is not only a terrible blight on the countryside, every year it costs thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money to remove and investigate incidents.

In a bid to clampdown on this growing problem, we’ve launched a major campaign to alert people to the dangers of employing unlicensed waste carriers.

Not sure where you stand with the law? Want to check you know what constitutes flytipping and the risks of offending? Take our short Could this be yours? quiz and test your knowledge.

Homeowners are at risk of breaching their duty of care as set out in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 if they pass their waste to an unlicensed carrier and it is found on the side of the road or another public area. Here are some simple steps you can take to help keep your waste safe. Also see our leaflet for more information.

• Ask to see a licence – All waste carriers registered with the Environment Agency have to carry a licence. The paper part of the licence looks like this (see below, right). It has the Environment Agency hologram in the corner. There is also a card version (also below, left) and will have the company details on the back.

• Ask for a receipt – this should say where the waste is going, what the waste is and include details about the vehicle taking it away, as well as the carrier’s authorisation number.

• Avoid paying by cash – carriers who are not legitimate businesses will often ask to be paid in cash.

• Be wary of anyone who offers to ‘do you a favour’ – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

You can find licensed waste carriers in your neighbourhood, just by calling the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 or by visiting the Environment Agency website.

If you are a business, find out more about your duty of care as a waste producer and our commercial waste collections.

We offer a bulky waste collection for larger household items. A range of items can also be disposed of for free at our Recycling Centres.

For more information and useful links, call our Environmental Health team on 020 8207 2277.