We all know how to go about recycling our everyday items like plastic packaging, glass bottles and - in some areas - our food waste, but where do we turn when we're looking to get rid of our bigger household items like sofas, dining furniture and even fridges and freezers?
The Problem With Fly-Tipping
Though our local councils do have provisions in place to help you dispose of your old large items responsibly, fly-tipping remains a big problem in the UK and Ireland. This was proven in a survey we conducted through TFL, where 13% of UK and Irish adults admitted to fly-tipping. What's more, a concerning 28% of all UK and Irish adults did not know that fly-tipping was illegal.
This shows that local councils simply aren't making their residents aware of the legal alternatives to fly tipping - something that we here at Furniture Choice are hoping to change.
So, where can you dispose of your large waste items? We've got a few ideas.
For non-electrical items like sofas, dining tables or mattresses, you should be able to take them to your local recycling centre. Though it's always best to check with your local council before loading up your vehicle with an old sofa or two, most tips are happy to accept large items of furniture. Some will even have areas where you can place items that are still useable, and these can get reused before they're entirely recycled.
However, for many, transporting a large item to a recycling centre might be unrealistic. In this instance, you can apply to have your item collected by your local council. There are some strict rules attached with this option that vary from area to area, so be sure to check with your local authority when booking a waste collection.
For detailed specifications, be sure to get in touch with your local council – you can book a collection through GOV.UK.
Alternatively, many areas have recycling projects that will come and collect your unwanted (but still functional) furniture from your home. These projects aim to reduce waste by up-cycling unwanted furniture items and selling them back to the community.
Many of these can collect your item, as well as accepting deliveries if you're able to take the items there yourself. These widely vary from area to area, so be sure to check the projects that exist near to you before labelling your old items as rubbish straight away!
What can you do about fly tipping in your area?
Despite the many options available, there are those that sadly will continue to fly-tip. If you notice a fly-tipping problem in your area, you can report it through GOV.UK, though if the issue is a large one (e.g. a lorry dumping its content illegally), you can contact the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60 (24 hours).