Wigan firefighters have warned householders to think twice over who they hire to get rid of their cast-offs after tackling a blaze involving illegally dumped rubbish.
Crews were called to Crankwood Road, Leigh, at 11.30pm last Friday after a large pile of fly-tipped household waste was found alight.
Among the embers they found discarded letters bearing the owner’s personal details.
Firemen informed Wigan Council, adding they suspected the person paid someone in good faith to get rid of the items.
Crew Manager Mark Anderson said: “We warn people not to dump rubbish on land and set fire to it.
“There are registered waste disposal centres to take their unwanted items. We warn people to be on guard if they are paying someone to get rid of rubbish and to check they have a licence. If not, they could be paying someone who will just drive to a local beauty spot and dump it there.”
A spokesman for Wigan Council advises that if anyone is paying a contractor to remove waste from their property, ensure they have a waste carriers licence issued by the Environment Agency.
If they do not have this then they cannot legally take waste away.
Contractors cannot take waste to any of the borough’s household waste recycling centres, they must take it to a licensed waste contractor and are charged based on the weight.
Residents must also ask for a receipt and the details of the company that is removing the waste and where possible make a note of the make and model of the vehicle and the registration number.
Legitimate registered waste contractors should not have a problem with this.
There is a list of approved traders on Wigan Council’s Good Trader Scheme.
For more information visit www.wigan.gov.uk and search for Good Trader Scheme.
Karl Battersby, director of economy and environment, said: “Fly-tipping ruins our communities and last year cost the council £800,000 which equates to nearly one per cent council tax.
“Through The Deal, by residents not fly-tipping and recycling their waste correctly we can keep council tax low. We need residents to help us by reporting incidents and hotspots so we can carry our enforcements and catch offenders.”
Residents can report flytipping incidents via the Report It app or online at www.wigan.gov.uk/reportit