Over 70% of fly-tipping incidents in Wales contain household waste, such as white goods, furniture, excess black bin bags and used toys.
This is often the result of a householder, who has unknowingly put their ‘rubbish’ into the hands of an illegitimate waste carrier, because they failed to check for an official waste carrier licence.
Whether you plan to have a pre-Christmas clear out to make room for new or perhaps you’d rather wait until the dust has settled in the new year — we’d like to encourage you to consider which of your unwanted household items can be re-used, recycled or re-homed.
This will help to reduce the amount of waste found in landfill, leave more room in your black bags for non-recyclable rubbish and help to reduce the amount of household waste found fly-tipped across Wales after Christmas.
Here are some of our top tips to help get you started:
Re-use and recycle
- Old furniture: Before you decide to throw out your old coffee table, could you give it a new lease of life? Whatever the item may be, YouTube and Pinterest are jam-packed with Upcycling ‘How-to’ videos for inspiration and guidance. If you don’t feel confident enough to give upcycling a go yourself, there are plenty of upcycling companies and organisations across Wales who would love to hear from you such as NuLife Furniture — a brilliant project set up by Cadwyn Housing Association in Cardiff.
- Cardboard and plastic: If you are running out of ideas to keep the children entertained during the school Christmas holidays, why not let them have a go at transforming your cardboard and plastic rubbish into something new and sentimental, such as a tree decoration?
- Electrical appliances (including white goods): take advantage of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling scheme. If you purchase a new electronic item from Currys, Argos or John Lewis (to name a few), they will accept your old items for free. For more information on the WEEE directive, please visit: www.gov.uk/electricalwaste-producer-supplier-responsibilities.
- Large household items: Arranging for your local authority to collect any unwanted, bulky items from your home is a great way to protect yourself from rogue waste carriers and potential fly-tippers. Plus, you know your unwanted goods will definitely be recycled or disposed of safely and responsibly. Please visit your Council website to find out what bulky waste collection services are available in your area.
- Pre-loved toys: your children may have grown out of their garden slide, but that does not mean that someone else’s little one wouldn’t love to see it under their Christmas tree. Could you offer any old toys to a friend? Or perhaps you could advertise them on your local Facebook community group?
- Fashion: rather than always buying new and throwing old clothing items in the bin, why not take a more sustainable approach to fashion? You can borrow and swap with friends, donate and shop at charity shops or you could even take up a new hobby and learn how to make your own garments…
- ‘Good as new’ household items: As the saying goes, one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure! If they are in good nick, someone may really appreciate your old sofa, television or fridge. Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Freegle are all great tools for buying and selling second-hand. Also, some charities such as British Heart Foundation offer a furniture, electrical and homeware collection service if you’d like to donate your items to a good cause.
For more advice and useful information on safe waste management for householders over the festive period, keep an eye on our Facebook page where we are sharing daily bite-size tips in the run up to Christmas Day.
It’s all part of our seasonal campaign, #25DaysofTipmas. If you have any advice that you would like to share about safe and responsible waste management at Christmas time, please join the conversation by using our campaign hashtag on Twitter.