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Don’t Fly Tip at Christmas

More domestic waste is illegally dumped around Christmas than any other time of year – with children’s toys being one of the most common items to be fly-tipped after the festive period.
As the season of giving approaches, Fly-Tipping Action Wales is reminding households that there are more sustainable ways of getting rid of toys and other household items that are no longer used, or been replaced by the latest ‘must have’.

The partnership of over 50 organisations including local authorities, Keep Wales Tidy and local emergency services, commonly finds children’s toys, Christmas decorations, electrical appliances, furniture and clothes amongst domestic waste dumped in December and January.

A lot of these items are thrown out to make way for Christmas presents. But the majority could be restored and given a new lease of life.

“There is no excuse for fly-tipping unwanted items onto our countryside or public streets this Christmas because there are so many other options – particularly for unwanted toys. Community groups, playgroups, nurseries and charities are always looking for donations, particularly large items such as playhouses and ride on toys. We also advise people to approach their local recycling charity or organisation to see what services they offer. Most of the household items that we see fly-tipped can easily be re-used and upcycled by your local recycling charity

“There were over 38,000 fly-tipping incidents in Wales last year, the equivalent of four incidents per hour. This costs tax payers around £2 million in clean-up costs and is a waste of valuable resources. It’s also a criminal offence which could lead to a fine or imprisonment. This October, the Welsh Government introduced new powers to enable local authorities to issue fixed penalty notices for small-scale incidents. We are committed to tackling the problem of fly-tipping and urge people to be vigilant in their local communities too.  Any incident of waste they see fly-tipped can be reported to their local authority waste team or via our website.”

Shaun England, Chief Executive of toogoodtowaste, one of the largest, re-use and recycling charities in Rhondda Cynon Taf, believes the public isn’t always aware of how little effort it takes to re-use & recycle unwanted items and that contributes to the fly-tipping problem.

He said:

“The festive season naturally produces more general household waste and unwanted goods due to all the new presents people receive.  It tends to be out with the old and in with the new.  However, not everyone is aware of how easy it is to re-use and recycle their unwanted goods.  Rather than dumping items in the countryside or on the public streets, people can approach charities such as ours to donate their unwanted items in a sustainable way.

“At toogoodtowaste we collect re-usable household items from unwanted, furniture, electrical appliances, clothes, bric-a-brac, toys and books, free of charge for items, within Rhondda Cynon Taf. Most of the items we receive are fit for re-use. To ensure customers safety we inspect, test, clean & repair items, and there is no reason why they should end up dumped illegally or in landfill.

“We also take great satisfaction in receiving items and giving them a new lease of life in our workshop or upcycling them for future use. All income generated enables us to carry out our charitable objectives, sustain local employment, promote volunteering and work based learning opportunities.

“We’re encouraging people to get in touch over the Christmas period to arrange for us to come and collect any unwanted household items that could be reused rather than taking their goods to landfill or dumping them in the streets or countryside.”

We all have a legal duty of care to ensure that household and business waste is only transferred to an authorised person and a failure to do so can result in serious fines.

You can check waste carriers are registered on the Natural Resources Wales website. If you require further information and advice on how to get rid of unwanted waste please visit the website, www.flytippingactionwales.org

Best ways of getting rid of unwanted items:

  1. Contact your local recycling charity to see if they’ll come and collect unwanted items to either restore and sell them or dispose of them responsibly
  2. Use sites such as Freecycle, a local online community where people come and collect your unwanted goods from your house for free – www.freecycle.org
  3. Look at selling your unwanted items on websites such as Gumtree – www.gumtree.com
  4. Visit the Recycling for Wales website to find your local recycling centre – www.recycleforwales.org.uk
  5. Take your unwanted clothes, books, toys and bric-a-brac to your local charity shop where they’ll sell them to raise money for their cause. Visit www.charityretail.org.uk to find your nearest charity shop.
  6. You can also contact your local authority to see if they offer a bulky item collection service