People have been warned that they could receive fines of up to £5,000 if they use unlicensed waste collectors to get rid of rubbish.  

South Norfolk Council says it has seen a rise in reports of unregistered companies offering to collect unwanted items for cash, only to illegally fly-tip it.

Council leaders say all householders and businesses have a legal obligation to ensure waste is disposed of properly and can be fined up to £5,000 if they pass waste to unauthorised companies who dump it.

Diss Mercury: Rubbish dumped by an unregistered waste collectorRubbish dumped by an unregistered waste collector (Image: Broadland and South Norfolk Councils)

And they say their environmental protection officers pick through dumped rubbish to look for evidence to track down the people and businesses who paid for the dodgy service.

Keith Kiddie, the council's cabinet member for environment and recycling said: "It may seem like a cheap option, but what many people don’t realise is that by using these unlawful companies, they themselves risk a hefty fine and a criminal record.

"As well as cold calling properties where waste can be seen awaiting disposal, rogue waste collectors are also now using social media to look for trade.

"They are putting the legitimate waste collectors at a disadvantage, blighting our beautiful countryside and turning residents into criminals."

READ MORE: Flytipper jailed for 16 weeks for dumping waste on farmland

The council says people offering to take away waste should be registered waste carriers and people should ask to see their licence.

The company should also provide a receipt, which should include the date and time of collection, a description of the waste and a record of where it is being disposed of.

READ MORE: 'One fly-tipping offence one too many' but figures reveal action differs

The council says, if they cannot provide this information, then they could be operating illegally.

Diss Mercury: South Norfolk councillor Keith KiddieSouth Norfolk councillor Keith Kiddie (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Kiddie said: "Our officers go to great lengths to find evidence linking the waste to the offender, including examining bags of rubbish by hand.

"Fly-tipping ruins our countryside and costs all council taxpayers to clear up. It's the individual's responsibility in law to stop it happening too."

The council is urging anyone approached by a rogue waste collector to get the vehicle plate number, a description of them, and report them on 0808 168 2999.