WARNINGS about using “cowboy operators” for waste disposal are being given after a Yeadon road was left covered in dumped rubbish.

Otley and Yeadon councillor Colin Campbell is warning people they could face prosecution if they pay cowboy operators who then dump the waste illegally.

He spoke out after a Tyersal resident was fined £200 for failing in his duty of care. The man paid strangers to take away his waste, but he didn’t check if they had a waste carriers licence. He didn’t take the vehicle registration number and didn’t get a receipt with the company’s name on it.

The waste ended up strewn along Yeadon Moor Road.

Anyone paying people to take rubbish away is being urged to carry out basic checks to ensure it will be disposed of legally.

Cllr Campbell said: “It is a warning for anyone who uses cowboy operators. You are responsible for your waste and liable to prosecution if it is not disposed of appropriately, even if it has been passed on to a third party.

“I would urge all residents who need to dispose of waste to check that the people you use have the appropriate certificates and get a receipt.”

He added: “This seems to be a problem on the increase since Leeds introduced charges for the disposal of some waste. The unscrupulous turn up and offer to remove rubbish for you, for a fee, and often say they are legitimate and will dispose of the material appropriately - they don’t.

“In the end it is the resident’s responsibility to ensure waste is disposed of appropriately hence the suggestion that they look at any licence the trader may claim to have and note the vehicle registration.

“If the Council can find the trader they will also prosecute them.”

In another recent case a 19-year-old man was given a £300 fixed penalty notice after a witness reported seeing garden waste being dumped on Tile Lane in Adel. Because of the witness statement Leeds City Council officers were able to trace a car to Hull and then to Leeds.