Residents and businesses in Hull and the East Riding are being urged not to fall victim to bogus waste collectors this Christmas and New Year.
The festive period can see a rise in criminals calling door to door - or advertising more on social media - offering to take people's rubbish away, sometimes at a cheap price. But, all too often, the rubbish ends up dumped at the side of the road.
It can be more tempting to accept offers at this time of year, because of the increase in Christmas waste.
But enforcement officers at Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council have joined forces to encourage residents and businesses to do the right thing and say 'no' to bogus collectors - and instead dispose of their rubbish properly and lawfully.
Residents and businesses have a legal 'duty of care' to make sure their waste is disposed of correctly - either in household bins, taken to household waste recycling sites or given to registered waste collectors.
If any dumped waste can be traced back to the owner, residents themselves could be the ones facing large fines - from a £400 fixed penalty, to an unlimited fine or even a prison sentence as well as being ordered to pay clean-up costs.
To help residents and businesses make sure they use proper, registered waste collectors, they are asked to follow the SCRAP Code:
Cllr Chris Matthew, portfolio holder for environment and climate change at East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: "We are urging residents and businesses to follow this advice because we don't want people to fall foul of bogus collectors.
"There can be a rise in this activity during the holidays with unsolicited collectors cold-calling or advertising their services on social media, so please be vigilant.
"Both councils take a tough stance on fly-tipping and we will continue to investigate every report we receive - but we need the public's help to stop fly-tipping from happening."
Councillor Rosie Nicola, portfolio holder for environmental services at Hull City Council, said: "Not only does fly-tipping cost councils a lot of money each year to remove and dispose of, but it also uses resources which could be focused on other essential services.
"By uniting councils across the Hull and the East Riding, we can tackle this issue effectively and quickly.
"My main message to residents is always ask anyone offering to take away your unwanted waste for their registration documents. Remember, if something seems too cheap to be true, it almost certainly is."
To report any incidents of fly-tipping, or suspicious activity, residents are urged to contact the following:
East Riding of Yorkshire Council:
Contact the Streetscene Enforcement Team at 01482 393939, or online at www.eastriding.gov.uk/fly-tipping
To find your nearest household waste recycling site visit www.eastriding.gov.uk/recycling
For the council to collect unwanted bulky items, search for 'bulky waste collections' on the council's website www.eastriding.gov.uk
Hull City Council:
Contact the Environmental Enforcement Team on 01482 300 300 or online at www.hull.gov.uk/fly-tipping
To help identify and locate persons caught fly-tipping on camera please visit: www.hull.gov.uk/environment/environmental-crime/caught-camera
For further details on household waste recycling centres visit www.hull.gov.uk/bins-and-recycling/recycling/household-waste-recycling-centres
For collection of bulky household items call the council on 01482 300 300 or visit www.hull.gov.uk