If your rubbish is flytipped you will face a hefty fine - even if it was not you that dumped it.

Sutton Council has warned people they must make sure they use legitimate, registered waste collectors or face any potential consequences.

If households or businesses use waste disposal companies who flytip then they could face clean-up costs or a fine of up to £5,000 if they cannot show they took reasonable steps to make sure the company they used was registered.

All waste disposal companies should be registered with the Environment Agency. Sutton Council has advised people that it costs money to dispose of waste properly and that a cheap service probably means the waste will be flytipped.

Mary Morrissey, the council's strategic director for environment and neighbourhoods, said: "Fly-tipping costs the council thousands of pounds every year, which could be invested in other areas.

"It is unfair that honest residents have to bear the cost of clearing up other people’s waste when it is dumped on our streets and in our parks.

"Generally, if the cost that you are charged to have rubbish collected seems low, it will probably end up being fly-tipped and costing you a lot more than you bargained for. Residents have a legally enforceable duty to use a registered collector."

Opposition Councillor Tony Shields said the amount of flytipping in the borough could be partly down to the size of the Kimpton Park Reuse and Recycling Centre and that traders are not allowed to use it.

He said: "At the closure of the old dump, I stated that the new dump is to small and that stopping the traders paying for dumping of their rubbish would inevitably result in more fly tipping.

"That's historic of course, but when there is absolutely nowhere in the borough to dispose of trade waste the itinerant fly tippers will step in to lend a hand - for a few quid."

A council spokesman said people should always ask to see a waste disposal firm's registration certificate, to pay by cheque and never by cash and never to use companies that cold call at your door.

For information about registered waste collectors, contact the council on 020 8770 5070 or the Environment Agency on 01276 454 541 or 01276 454 379 or 01276 454 337.