Local authorities across the whole of the British Isles are facing the mounting problem of illegally dumped waste in their boroughs. This action, known as fly-tipping, is a growing concern; there are record amounts of illegally dumped rubbish getting discovered. By 2012, almost a million incidents of fly-tipping were reported in England alone, costing over £40 million to clean up.
The scale and type of waste involved varies. It can be rubbish dumped by an individual on public land, or it could be truckloads of construction waste tipped out at the side of a road. Tipping garden waste, electrical products or an old mattress into the street spoils the local area for residents and reduces the overall value of a community, yet at the other end of the scale, major industrial dumping can result in long-term damage to the environment, as well as creating potential health hazards for people and the surrounding wildlife.
The correct definition of fly-tipping is ‘the illegal deposit of any waste onto land or a highway that has no licence to accept it’. Simply put, if you find rubbish where rubbish isn’t supposed to be, it has been fly-tipped, and is illegal. More than half of what gets chucked out is household waste, and more than a third of the reported incidents occurred on the highway. Commonly fly-tipped items include vehicle components (parts, tyres, and oil), builders waste (asbestos, rubble, bathroom and kitchen units), white goods (fridges, freezers, washing machines), furniture, industrial paperwork, and garden waste.
Legislation put into place in 2005 – the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (also known as ‘the 2005 Act’) made it easier for local authorities to deal with waste crimes. Penalties were raised on conviction of fly-tipping, making the ‘polluter pay’ by forcing the offender meet the cost of investigation, enforcement and even the expense of cleaning up the affected land. In an attempt to curb the growing trend of fly-tipping, local councils are coming down hard on offenders.
You may have recently embarked on a building project at home, or had a clear-out in the loft or garage. Perhaps you’ve had to help a relative empty the contents of a house, or you’ve been asked to clean out a workspace or lockup. All of these tasks will leave you with a pile of rubbish that needs removing. Often, this will need a trip to the local municipal dump at the very least; perhaps several trips in order to get the job done. If the infrastructure where you live isn’t good or the dump is on the other side of town, this task can become quite demanding.
The simplest solution is to hire a skip. Usually, you’ll select a size of skip, depending on the job – so a mini skip will do for garden or household waste, and will hold somewhere between 25-35 full bin bags, whereas a midi skip will be better for larger properties or commercial waste, holding approximately 35-45 bin bags. For larger home improvement or construction jobs, you’ll need to go with a builder’s skip which has enough capacity to take 65-85 full bin bags.
If you have your own driveway, the skip will be placed there, but if you need the skip to be placed in the road, you will need to apply to your local council before the skip can be dropped off. Even if there isn’t room for a skip – you might live in the middle of a busy city, for example – a skip hire company will be able to offer options such as skip bags, or will arrange to wait while you load their skip.
You won’t be able to put some things in a skip. Gas bottles, car batteries, light bulbs, TVs, fridges and freezers, tyres and any liquids can’t go in, and it goes without saying that you won’t be able to use a skip for medical waste or asbestos.
If you’ve got a lot of tins of paint or solutions in bottles that need discarding, you might have special considerations when disposing of these items. If you’re not sure about how to dispose of the rubbish you’ve got, you’ll need to contact your local environmental health office or waste disposal centre to find out how best to get rid of your unwanted goods. Fly-tipping is never justifiable – but you begin to see how some people take the lazy option and simply dump the contents for someone else to clean up.
For anything else, a skip is your best option. If you’re in need of disposing of unwanted furniture or building materials, hire a skip from local tradesmen and local businesses in your area. Take advantage of free business listings on sites such as Directory Now to find skip hire companies in your town or city.