HIRING a man with a van to get rid of a load of household waste has cost a Swindon man more than £1,200.

The garbage ended up dumped in a country lane at Broad Hinton, magistrates heard.

Nicholas Todd, who lives in The Prinnels area, claimed he had paid a man with a van that he met on social media to take it away.

But after the mess was reported Wiltshire Council investigators picked through it and and managed to trace it back to him.

Swindon Magistrates Court was told Todd failed to check the driver had a licence to carry waste or to find out where it was going to end up.

He admitted failing to make sure it was disposed of properly and was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,000, a £200 fine and a £30 victim surcharge.

Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for waste, said: “Residents and businesses have a duty of care in ensuring their waste is disposed of properly and legally.

“People should be wary about using a man with a van or similar adverts on social media to dispose of waste without making all the necessary checks and writing down the waste carrier’s licence number.”

Wiltshire Council said householders had a duty of care under the Environmental Protection Act to ensure that their waste was transferred only to authorised people.

To prevent it being fly-tipped they had to check using the waste carriers public register on the Environment Agency website or call the organisation on 03708 506506.

They also needed to check where it was being sent, ask for a receipt detailing the destination, the vehicle and the carrier's authorisation number.

Waste can also be taken to household recycling centres. Earlier this year Wiltshire Council brought in a new policy of asking people for proof of their address when they took their waste to the tip.

It was suggested the requirement could lead to increased fly-tipping. farmers have complained of more rubbish being dumped on their land and one claimed tippers even drove past a nearby recycling centre to dump.