Residents are being urged to make sure that people they hire to take away their rubbish are authorised to do so or they could face fines up to £400.

Enforced officers at the council have been given new powers to issue fixed penalty notice to householders who fail to carry our reasonable checks to ensure that anyone they pass their waste to is authorised to take it.

Cllr Alan Quinn, cabinet member for the environment, climate change and operations at the council, said: “All of us hate fly-tipping – it blights our neighbourhoods, and it’s the council taxpayer who has to pay to clear it up.

“It is each person’s responsibility to make sure that their rubbish is disposed of correctly, under what is called the householder duty of care.

“If you arrange for your waste to be removed and it is later tipped, you could be held accountable if you have not checked that the person is authorised to take your waste.”

Officers say that many illegal waste carriers often advertise on social media and other buy and sell sites, offering cheap rates to dispose of waste which is the fly-tipped.

Legitimate ways to dispose of your household items:

• Donate unwanted but good condition furniture to a community scheme or charity.

• Book a bulky waste collection with the council. For a charge of £41, up to five items will be collected – from old mattresses and carpets to TVs, washing machines, fridges and freezers., and carpets. 

• Take excess waste or bulky items to your local household waste recycling centre. 

How do I check if the waste carrier is legitimate?

• Ask them for their full name, address and phone number.

• Ask to see their waste carrier license, issued by the Environment Agency. If they are unable to produce it, they may not be legal.

• Check for registered waste carriers on the Environment Agency website:

• Ask for a headed receipt – a genuine company will supply one as a matter of course.

• Ask where they take your waste - a genuine company will be able to show you transfer notes from the waste recycling centre they use.

• Get quotes from different waste carriers – if one or two are substantially cheaper, ask yourself why. If the price quoted seems too good to be true, it probably is.

• Make a note of the registration number of the vehicle that removes your waste.