Police have swooped on lorries and trucks carrying waste in an operation to weed out potential fly-tippers which has led to fines of up to £1,000 on drivers.

The joint operation with Redbridge Council was triggered after several fly-tips were found to be dumped by rogue waste removal outfits on public open spaces instead of operators legally disposing the items they had been hired to remove.

“Illegally operating waste removal is not welcome or tolerated,” Redbridge Council enforcement manager Sarah Louise Kaye insisted.

“We won’t hesitate to use the full weight of the law against irresponsible and illegal waste disposal practices.”

Drivers were asked to produce a valid waste carriers licence to see if they were operating legally, if they were registered with the Environment Agency and if they had waste carriers licences.

Ilford Recorder: Some of the waste found to be illegally transportedSome of the waste found to be illegally transported (Image: Redbridge LB)

Illegal or unregistered waste carriers often charge people to take their waste away — only to fly-tip on open public spaces, the local authority has found.

The three-hour operation carried out near Gants Hill saw Redbridge's neighbourhood enforcement team give out on-the-spot fines when several drivers failed to produce valid waste carriers licences.

Police also checked that vehicles were roadworthy and were on the lookout for any linked to crimes like burglaries and motor theft.

Householders are being advised not to fall foul of the law by making sure anyone they hire to remove waste from their property is authorised. Otherwise it could lead to a £600 fine if the waste is later discovered fly-tipped with no evidence of who it was given to for removal.

Anyone hiring a contractor to remove household, garden or construction waste has to check the operator is registered with the Environment Agency and is advised to note the registration of the vehicle being used. Paying by cheque, card or bank transfer can be traced if the waste is later found fly-tipped.

Contractors can be checked using their registration number, business name or postcode, or by a call to the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506.

Redbridge Council runs a bulk waste collection free once every 12 months, with charges for additional collections.