Wakefield Council is urging residents and businesses to be vigilant against illegal waste carriers.
Unlicenced waste carriers will take away rubbish for a fee and could then dump it illegally.
Not only are the waste carriers liable for prosecution, but the householders and businesses can also be fined up to £5,000 and end up with a criminal record.
Coun Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities, said: “Fly-tipping is a blight on our communities and costs the council tax payer significant amounts of money to clear-up and investigate.
“We’re working hard to catch illegal waste carriers. But everyone has a responsibility to check that anyone taking their waste away has the right licence to do so. You need to find out they have the right licence or you could end up with a criminal record and a hefty fine.
“There are many reputable, licenced carriers in the district. Please always check so you don’t get caught out. You can also take unwanted items to your local recycling centre for free, or donate to a local charity if it’s still in a good condition – some charities will collect for free.”
Residents and businesses need to check that anyone disposing of their waste has the right licence to do so. They should also make sure they are given a waste transfer note when it is taken away from the property.
To check whether a person is a registered waste carrier, or to find a legitimate one, visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk
Or for more information about fly-tipping, how to report it, or ways to dispose of your waste legally please visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/waste