Warrington Borough Council is urging residents to be vigilant, following reports of unlicensed mobile collectors operating illegally in the borough.


The council has received reports of illegal collectors using transit vans to collect metal, and would welcome any information from members of the public who see any suspicious activity.

All mobile scrap metal collectors must be licensed with the council where they are collecting. People could receive a fine of up to £400 for giving their waste to illegal waste collectors.

Before using any scrap metal collector, check the Council’s website to make sure the individual/business holds a scrap metal licence.

Please be extremely cautious of 'cash for scrap' operators. It is illegal to pay by cash and this should serve as an early warning sign that the business is not legitimate.

Whatever the type of waste, check that whoever you are using for domestic or business work (eg: house clearances, rubbish removal etc) are licenced to do so. Remember everyone (including householders) have a legal obligation (duty of care) to take all reasonable measures to ensure that your waste is disposed of properly. Check the business has a waste carriers licence on the Environment Agency website.

Cllr Hitesh Patel, cabinet member for environment, housing and public protection, said: “Using an unlicensed dealer may result in your scrap being tipped in a field or the side of a road. If the contents of a fly-tip are traced back to you, you could be fined or taken to court.

“Illegal waste collectors are doing untold damage to the environment. They undercut legitimate businesses, and they have not been checked by HMRC to ensure they are paying the correct taxes.

“Please make sure you only use an approved and licensed dealer. If you have something that needs removing, those collectors licensed by the council will do it properly. They have been checked and approved by us and their vehicle will have a dealer’s licence plate displayed.”

The council operates a bulky household waste collection service for white goods. To arrange for items to be collected please call 01925 443322 or visit