Harrogate residents and businesses are being called on to help fight fly-tipping by looking for signs that their waste collectors may be unlicensed.
The call for vigilance was made by Harrogate Borough Council following a number of fly-tipping incidents in recent weeks that were traced to collection companies dumping waste on the side of the road and on private land.
Unlicensed companies are believed to be offering cut-rate waste collection services that residents are being warned is more than likely too good to be true.
Dean Richardson, HBC's Head of Safer Communities said: “There are a number of unscrupulous organisations currently operating in the Harrogate district who claim to be legitimate waste removal companies but are simply taking people’s money and then just dumping the waste.
“We are urging people to be extremely vigilant when looking to use the services of a waste company and to do all they can to make sure they are using a legitimate service.
“Warning signs that the company may not be licensed include the company not having the right paperwork, providing only a mobile contact telephone number or providing a quote for removing the waste that is much, much cheaper than any other.
"Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
To check if your waste is being handled properly the council suggest you can ask to see a carrier license that is issued by the Environment Agency. You can also do this directly by contacting the agency yourself and requesting a free waste carrier validation check.
You can check also their status online at www.gov.uk/guidance/access-the-public-register-for-environmental-information.
The council added that it offers a domestic bulky waste collection service, for more information go to www.harrogate.gov.uk/bulkywastearticles.