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Take care before employing doorstep callers

Press Release   •   May 13, 2014 14:32 BST

Residents are being urged to think carefully before agreeing to give work to doorstep callers.

Councils spend millions of pounds every year clearing up household rubbish that is fly-tipped by people who are not licensed to dispose of the waste.

They are reminding householders that they could be liable if they pass on their waste to an unauthorised person who then illegally dumps it.

Advice on ‘reasonable steps’ a householder can take:

1) Check that the individual or company is genuine and reputable.

2) Ask the contractor how and where he is going to dispose of your waste. If you don't get a satisfactory answer, don't use him.

3) Ask to see their waste carrier licence issued by the Environment Agency and make a note of their waste carrier number.

4) If they claim to be registered but do not have any paperwork, contact the Environment Agency on 08708 506 506 (or via its website) and ask for a free instant Waste Carrier Validation Check.

5) Ask the waste carrier for their full address, telephone number and vehicle registration. 

6) Pay by cheque, as payments can be traced if the waste is fly tipped, and get a receipt. If they insist on cash, refuse their services.

Tina Murray of Bury Council’s environmental services said: “It is not illegal for handymen to canvas by cold calling, but it is important that people are cautious and don't make hasty decisions about agreeing to have work done.

“Rogue doorstep trading is a problem in the UK and the work carried out can sometimes be unnecessary, of a poor standard, and done on the cheap, leaving the householder out of pocket and legally responsible for rubbish which isn’t disposed of correctly.”


  • Do not agree to house repairs, or sign anything, on the spot.
  • Be wary of special offers or warnings that your house is unsafe because of dangerous trees or roof slates.
  • Do not make snap decisions. Talk to friends and neighbours and get recommendations before you make a decision.

Press release issued: 13 May 2014.