Facebook fly-tippers’ will pose as legitimate waste removal companies, posting adverts in the market place and in community groups, taking householders’ money – only to end up dumping their waste to save on disposal costs. This causes great harm to Wales’ natural landscape and also puts the householder at risk of a fine.

One way of avoiding a fly-tipper is to check anyone taking your waste away is licenced to do so by Natural Resources Wales – this is also a legal requirement for householder and businesses.  Read our guide below for things you can look out for, so you can spot a ‘Facebook fly-tipper’ before it’s too late…and take a look at our Facebook Fly-tipper Toolkit to read how Facebook admins, waste carriers and householders can all help support our #StopFacebookFly-tippers campaign by helping to raise awareness across social media.

Ask the contractor questions BEFORE you accept a quote on Facebook

A contractor must have a waste carrier's licence reference beginning with CBDU and ending with 1 to 6 numbers. Legitimate and responsible contractors will be happy to provide this reference in their advert or upon request.

Check the reference the contractor provides using the Natural Resources Wales database, type naturalresources.wales/CheckWasteLicence or call 0300 065 3000.  You can also search the register by business name or postcode, although take care as sometimes contractors register in a different name to the one they operate under.

Take a photo of the reference or jot it down, just in case your waste is fly-tipped and the council come knocking on your door – this will prove you followed your waste duty of care, even if the contractor unfortunately did not.

It is better to make this check before booking a service rather than when the contractor arrives at your home.  Also, if you live close to the border or the company you plan on using operates a UK wide service, you may be dealing with a contractor who will be registered on the Environment Agency website here, or Scottish Environment Protection Agency here, you must still check they have a licence.

Ignore adverts with suspiciously low prices

Scammers will often advertise suspiciously low prices to remove your waste for much less than most other businesses are quoting, leaving you wondering how they make a profit…. if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Legitimate and responsible waste removal is worth paying for to protect yourself from a fine and your local environment from fly-tips.  

Don’t ‘pay twice’ for getting rid of waste.  You could be fined for your waste being tipped by someone else.

Following these steps means you will be supporting legitimate local contractors, who follow the rules and dispose of waste responsibly, in turn protecting the environment and contributing to the economy.

Avoid paying cash

Contractors offering to remove your household waste for cash-in-hand only? This is an immediate red flag.

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence; to make their illegal behaviour less traceable, fly-tippers will often remove your waste for cash in hand payment. When possible, avoid paying cash - pay by card so the payment is traceable, and always ask for a receipt.

Take note of the vehicle information

Always record the registration number, make and model of the vehicle used to take your waste away. If your waste is found fly-tipped and traced back to you, the council will ask for any more information you might have to help them trace the culprits. 

Unfortunately, licenced contractors have also been known to fly-tip, so record this information every time you pay someone to take your waste away.

 Avoid suspicious adverts and websites

If a contractors website look suspicious and is perhaps full of spelling mistakes, poorly built and designed, or lacking key information such as their waste carrier licence reference – be wary.  If the advert in Facebook also contains very little contact information, don’t go any further.

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Consider your other options

Consider other options before paying for an independent contractor to take your things away.  You can use your local council’s bulky waste removal service, or take your items to the tip, or donate your items to a charity - then you won’t have to worry about checking for a licence.

Transport or collect waste and not registered with Natural Resources Wales?  Find out more, search naturalresources.wales/RegisterWasteCarrier

To check for a licence, search: naturalresources.wales/CheckWasteLicence

Access our Facebook Fly-tipper Toolkit here

Read more of our fly-tipping related articles on our website here