Recycling experts Scott Bros is urging householders to consider hiring a skip rather than using a ‘man with a van’ in a bid to reduce illegal fly tipping incidents across the region.
While councils across the Tees Valley, County Durham and North Yorkshire have now reopened most waste recycling centres to the public, there have been reports of long queues due to the introduction of social distancing measures.
Some householders are cautious about returning to such sites given that government guidance remains that they should only be used when necessary and when waste can’t safely be stored at home.
The ongoing problem of fly tipping has rocketed during lockdown – with the added complexity that dumped waste must be left at least 72 hours before being cleared to minimise any risk of Covid-19 contamination.
Many urban neighbourhoods and surrounding farmland across Teesside have been blighted with illegally dumped waste. Across the country, local authorities have faced a huge clean-up bill as fly tipping soared by 300 percent in some areas.
Peter Scott, a director of Stockton-based Scott Bros, said it had seen a huge rise in demand for its midi skips as householders took advantage of the lockdown to undertake DIY or gardening projects.
He added that those using skips could be assured that waste was disposed of correctly in an environmentally responsible manner – while the whole process from ordering, payment, delivery, and collection can be completed without human contact.
Welcoming the decision by local authorities to reopen their recycling and waste centres, he said that some people however remained anxious about using such public-accessible facilities while others were deterred by some of the restrictions surrounding their use.
“Just dumping rubbish illegally is not an option as it’s not only damaging our communities but it’s a health hazard – putting residents, council workers and farmers at risk,” he said.
“Some people may unwittingly contribute to the problem by using a man with a van who will do the job at a cheap rate.
“They are often unlicensed and as such cannot use legitimate civic amenity sites, which means they dump the rubbish it in the nearest back alley, green space or area of farmland.
“I’d urge anyone considering using such a service to check first that operators have a valid waste carriers’ licence and waste transfer note, otherwise they themselves risk being fined if the rubbish is traced back to them.”