EAST Lancashire residents and firms seeking to dispose of non-domestic waste have been warned to check that anyone offering to remove it is genuine.

The Environment Agency says cheap offers (less than £200 for skip) may be from cowboy operators who will simply fly-tip the rubbish.

Householders have been reminded they have ‘A Duty of Care’ to check that anyone taking away their waste is registered to do so with the agency.

In 2014/15 there were 5,141 incidents of fly-tipping in Blackburn with Darwen borough, 4,663 in Burnley, 2,591 in Hyndburn, 2,212 in Pendle, and 423 in Rossendale.

The Environment Agency’s latest figures reveal that more than 700,000 tonnes of waste needing disposal is produced in Lancashire each year and warns fly-tipping incidents are on the increase despite efforts from local councils to clear it.

John Neville, its environment manager, said: “Unfortunately, fly-tipping incidents are increasing locally and we really need for householders to play their part by following their duty of care.

Mr Neville warned: “As a householder, you have a responsibility to check the legitimacy of anyone collecting waste from your house.

“ Failure to do so, and if the business is found to be fly-tipping your waste, could result in prosecution and an unlimited fine.”