We've bin done: Householders paying firms to take rubbish away as fly-tipping set to soar
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Central Government, Communities, Environment
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Coalition cuts to councils' domestic waste collection services have led to householders exploring ways of paying waste management companies to take their rubbish way.
According to BusinessWaste.co.uk, exasperated council tax payers are turning to the private sector as their bin collections become less reliable.
Some reports suggest people are waiting weeks on end for stinking rubbish to be removed, while councils approve longer waiting times between rounds.
And the cuts to council budgets mean that the risk of fly-tipping becomes even greater as people take the law into their own hands, BusinessWaste.co.uk has warned.
"It's becoming a vicious circle," says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall. "In an attempt to save money on waste collections, local authorities are spending just as much - if not more - clearing up the aftermath of fly-tipping.
"The vast majority of people are law-abiding and put up with any sort of inconvenience, but for some, two to three weeks is a long time to wait with full bins, so our operators are seeing more and more domestic waste being dumped in the streets or on private property."
According to the government's own figures, two-weekly collections have been largely accepted by the British public, especially where there is an alternate week recycling waste collection, which has seen recycling rates soar in areas where tactics are used.
However, missed rounds – especially around public holidays – sometimes mean people have to wait longer, with local news reports speaking of up to one month between collections in some areas, BusinessWaste.co.uk says.
The firm says plans for three-weekly collections are proving unpopular among householders, and has spoken to residents in and around Bury – the first English council to approve three-weekly plans – who say that they'll resort to private collections to protect their streets from the expected smell and vermin associated with decaying rubbish.
Mark Hall said: "Council tax payers aren't pleased. And they say they've been betrayed by their local authority. They're looking for ways of opting out, getting a refund, and going their own way."
But BusinessWaste.co.uk is certain that other residents won't be so bold. "They'll wait until their rubbish starts to stink a bit, take it down the road and throw it in the local canal. It's going to happen," said Mr Hall.
The company says that further plans by local councils to save money on their waste budgets are also proving unpopular, with Some local authorities already charging domestic users per-visit fees for taking non-household items such as building rubble and DIY waste to local recycling facilities.
And the people who bear the brunt of the public's anger over waste collections and tip fees are the blameless operators of bin lorries and recycling centres, says Mr Hall.
"Give these hard-working people a break. They're doing their best amid cut after cut after cut. But it's clear that councils have got to listen to the people on this. Making council tax payers wait weeks on end to remove their rubbish is a road they really don't want to go down."