Autumn brings an abundance of festivities and ways to enjoy Wales’ boo-tiful landscapes — but did you know that doing some of these things could turn you into a pumpkin?

No, not really — but avoiding them will save you from becoming an unintentional litterer and fly-tipper...


In recent years, a popular social media trend has re-surfaced every Halloween — encouraging people to leave their old pumpkins in areas of nature such as parks, woodlands and the countryside. The well-meaning-but-misguided intention behind these posts is to provide food for birds and other wildlife.

However, this is not the case, and pumpkin can actually lead to a number of serious issues for animals, especially hedgehogs who can become severely dehydrated by the fruit.

Disposing of your pumpkin in a park, woodland or anywhere else other than your designated bin can also be considered littering and if caught you could be fined.  You can dispose of your pumpkin in your compost heap or recycle in your food waste collection.


Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night is a great opportunity for friends and family to get together and celebrate — but every year people use the event as an excuse to dump waste items.

Placing any kind of waste material on an unofficial bonfire is against the law and regarded as fly-tipping, and if you are found responsible, you could be liable for a £400 fine or court prosecution.

If you are wanting to get rid of unwanted waste, you should take it to your nearest household waste recycling centre – for more details search on Wales Recycles or look on your Councils website pages.

For more information on how you can enjoy Bonfire Night responsibly, visit the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s website.


Autumn gardening

Tidying up our gardens before the winter cold sets in is nobody’s favorite autumn activity. Raking up leaves can often feel like a never-ending task — leaving you with heaps of leaves to dispose of.

Many people believe that dumping garden waste over fences and in fields is harmless, but did you know that disposing of your garden waste in the wrong way can be damaging to our wildlife and ecosystems?

There have even been instances of horses and cows in Wales dying from eating grass cuttings containing toxins, so always make sure you’re disposing of your garden waste safely to avoid causing fatal harm.

Garden waste can contain seeds and plant parts which can regrow into new plants. If garden waste has been dumped illegally, these plants can grow and spread into areas where they may damage the environment and cause harm to animals.

To find out how to correctly dispose of your garden waste, check your local council website — most garden waste will be taken by your local council when placed in the right bin or bag, or you can usually take waste to your local recycling centre.  To find out more, read our article ‘PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT OF WALES BY DISPOSING OF YOUR GARDEN WASTE IN THE RIGHT WAY


Autumn walks

With the sun still shining, more people than usual may choose to go out and explore the great outdoors this autumn, making the most of changing leaves and cooler temperatures.

When exploring our Welsh landscapes, it is important to ensure that we are protecting them.

Leaving bags of waste next to, or on top of, a full bin is considered fly-tipping. To avoid being caught out, bring along your own bags, so that you can take any waste items home and dispose of it when you get there.  

For lots of helpful information on how to protect the nature you’re exploring, check out the Countryside Code website.’


Clearing out your wardrobe

Despite the warm weather lasting longer than usual this year, you may still be thinking about packing away your summer wardrobe, in favour of warmer jumpers and coats.

This changeover might even inspire you to clear out your clothes, donating unwanted items to charity shops.

While this is a great way to make some space in your wardrobe and give back to a worthy cause or the community, it is important to make sure you don’t become an unintentional fly-tipper in the process.

Only drop your clothes to a charity shop when it is open and accepting donations, as leaving your clothes and other unwanted items outside the charity shop is considered fly-tipping, and items can be damaged by the weather or rifled through by others.


Remember, remember… if you're paying someone to take your waste away this Autumn, always check they have a waste carrier licence, required by law, to do so.  Check a licence here