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Residents in the East Riding and Hull are being warned not to use the services of cold callers offering to take away scrap metal and waste.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council has issued the warning following a court case in which a Hull man was prosecuted after rubbish he gave to two men was later found dumped in a drainage ditch in Benningholme, near Skirlaugh.
The men had called at the home of Jack Davies, of Oban Avenue, Hull, offering to remove any waste for free, which included a washing machine and bin bags of household waste.
The men took the washing machine so they could get the scrap value, but they dumped the rest of the rubbish in the East Riding countryside.
Mr Davies pleaded guilty to failing in his duty of care by not checking he was using an authorised waste carrier to collect his rubbish when he appeared at Beverley Magistrates' Court on Friday 9 June.
He was given a conditional discharge for six months and was ordered to pay £513.50 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
The court heard the bin bags of household waste were found dumped in the drainage ditch off Kidhill Lane, Benningholme, on March 8 this year, together with other rubbish.
The ditch had to be cleared by the area's drainage board to prevent the watercourse flooding, and evidence found in the waste was handed to enforcement officers at East Riding of Yorkshire Council to investigate.
Some of the waste was traced back to Mr Davies, who admitted he gave his washing machine and black bin bags of rubbish to two unknown men who had called at his address and offered to take them for free.
He did not check they were authorised to take waste.
The council continues to warn residents to make sure they dispose of their waste properly and legally, either by taking it to their local household waste recycling site or by hiring a licensed waste carrier to take it away.
To operate legally firms that remove waste have to be registered with the Environment Agency as licensed waste carriers, but the council believes some operate illegally and dump people's waste in the East Riding.
Anyone caught fly-tipping could be ordered to pay a £400 fixed penalty notice, or if the case goes to court they could face an unlimited fine or even imprisonment.
If any fly-tipped waste can be traced back to its owner, they too could face an unlimited fine in court.
Mike Featherby, head of streetscene services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "We are warning residents not to give any waste or scrap metal to cold callers or anyone who isn't a registered waste carrier.
"If they do, as in this case, they risk having their rubbish dumped and they also risk prosecution themselves. "It is regrettable that someone has probably unwittingly been drawn into committing an offence, but to be clear the responsibility lies with the individual to make the necessary checks to make sure their waste is disposed of correctly and legally."All reports of fly-tipping are investigated by the council and any evidence found will be used to bring a prosecution."
For guidance on how to check if a person is a registered waste carrier follow the SCRAP Code which is available on the council's website www.eastriding.gov.uk/fly-tipping. You can also search for fly-tipping/duty of care leaflet.
Residents can report any fly-tipping or suspicious activity to the council on 01482 393939, or online at the council's website.
People are asked not to touch any fly-tipped waste or approach anyone they see fly-tipping.
The council provides a service offering to take away bulky waste, which costs £30 for up to five items.