Merton takes tough action against illegal waste carriers

Merton Council, in partnership with the Metropolitan Police, is cracking down on illegal waste carriers.

In its latest success, the council prosecuted George Smith of Croydon last Friday (9 April) for transporting waste without a licence. Mr Smith pleaded guilty and was fined £500 plus £350 costs and a £15 court surcharge.

The prosecution follows a joint police and council stop and search operation in Ellis Road, Mitcham on 10 September 2009 targeting illegal waste carriers.

Mr Smith was driving an open backed transit van containing a large aluminium door. He was given seven days to produce his waste transportation licence. Failing to do so, the council issued him a £300 fixed penalty notice which, if paid within 10 days, would reduce to £180. Mr Smith did not pay the fine which finally led to court action.

Merton Council director of environment and regeneration Chris Lee said: “We are making efforts to clamp down on people illegally transporting industrial and household waste. Unlicensed waste carriers normally charge residents large sums of money to clear waste only to dump it somewhere in the borough as a fly tip. If a waste carrier fly tips noxious materials, this can cause a serious environmental hazard as well as being unsightly.

“We don’t want residents to get caught out. People may not realise it, but in the eyes of the law, they are also responsible for ensuring people offering to take away their waste, whether from building work they are having done, or a fridge they want removed, are registered and have a licence, otherwise they could land themselves with a fine too.”

More information on the council’s bulky waste collection services can be found at


The collective amount of £865 owed by George Smith is to be paid in instalments of £100 per month. The first instalment is due by 23 April 2010.

Collecting fly tipped rubbish costs the council around £250,000 per year.

Merton Council wants to hear from residents who see rubbish dumped on the street, or in the process of being dumped. The fly tipping hotline is 020 8274 4902.