Fly-tipping - why risk it?

Fly-tipping – the illegal disposal of waste on unlicensed premises — has serious consequences: it costs communities a lot of money and it could land culprits in jail.

Dumping bulky rubbish in alleyways and on waste ground is unsightly and potentially dangerous, especially if sharp objects and waste containing chemicals (such as fridges and batteries) are involved. The hazardous mess has to be cleared up by Local Authorities, and is one reason why council tax rates increase – so fly-tipping is no free ride.

Since fly-tipping is also an offence that carries a maximum fine of £50,000 or a sentence of up to five years in prison — or both — why do people take the risk? Two Gloucester Councillors think that their city council’s charges for collecting bulky waste may be driving people to dump their rubbish, such as old mattresses, illegally.

Gloucester City Council charges £24 to remove up to three bulky items and a further £8 for additional items (the charge is halved for people in receipt of Housing and Council Tax benefit). These charges are “a big issue”, says Councillor Usman Bhaimia. There are other factors that cause fly-tipping, however, such as people unknowingly paying illegal companies, which are not licensed to dispose of waste, a fee to collect their rubbish; these companies dump the waste and make a profit.

Happily, there are several ways to dispose of bulky waste instead of resorting to fly-tipping. If you live on the same street as other people who need to have a clear-out, why not club together and hire a skip from a company that invests in quality recycling processes? The cost will be shared between neighbours, and a skip takes a vast amount of waste that can then be disposed of legally. Alternatively, take the waste to a designated recycling centre, where trained people will deal with it properly.

Recycling Lives offers a full range of waste management services, including commercial and domestic skip hire. It is an award winning social business that processes a wide variety of commercial and household waste, from unwanted tyres to waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

The Recycling Lives social welfare charity also supports individuals who have been homeless, or are at risk of homelessness, helping them to find accommodation and employment – often in one of our Community Dotcom schemes, which also contribute to the fight against fly-tipping: Bulky Waste collects large waste items and Furniture Donation Network takes unwanted furniture that is too good to throw into a skip. This high quality furniture is donated to a wide range of UK charities, who can then sell it or donate it to people on low incomes, and bulky waste is similarly reused or recycled, depending on its condition.

So if you have to get rid of items that are too large for your usual rubbish collection, make sure you dispose of them legally and safely – you can be assured of the highest standards with Recycling Lives, and what’s more, charities will benefit from your unwanted goods.