Warning: Illegal rubbish collection can ruin our environment

Merton, Lambeth and Croydon Councils are making a joint appeal to local businesses and residents not to use illegal rubbish collectors who offer to remove rubbish for a low fee – only to fly-tip it onto parks and commons, car parks, alleyways and roadsides.

Illegal rubbish collectors target households and businesses and offer to remove bulky waste, unwanted furniture and building waste at a low cost. However the waste is often just dumped in the borough causing not only a blight on the environment and potential hazard, but also costing the council thousands of pounds to remove – a cost ultimately borne by Council Tax payers.

Merton Council will collect bulky waste, such as furniture and other large items, by appointment from the front of resident’s properties. There is a small charge of £15 for up to 5 items or £10 for those receiving benefit or over 60 and not in full time employment. Fridges and freezers can also be collected by appointment with a separate charge of £10 per item. Alternatively bulky household waste and fridge freezers can be taken to the Reuse and Recycling Centre in Garth Road, Morden. There is no charge for cars but they may be a small charge for larger vehicles.

All businesses have a duty to dispose of their waste legally by a licensed waste carrier. Builders must make sure that any waste from building work is properly disposed of, and failure to comply with this duty also carries severe penalties under the Environmental Protection Act. Anyone fly tipping waste is committing a serious offence. If the case goes to crown court the fines are up to £20,000 and/or imprisonment. You also risk your vehicle being seized and possibly crushed.

Councillor Linda Kirby, Cabinet Member for Environmental Quality, said: “Fly-tipping is a real nuisance in London and it is spoiling our environment. Although a cheap offer to remove waste may sound appealing, invariably there’s a catch and unfortunately in most cases it involves the waste being dumped elsewhere in the borough.

“I advise residents and builders to contact the council if they want assistance in waste removal. That way you can be sure you are disposing of your waste legally and safely.”

Residents using the Garth Road Civic Amenity site should always bring proof of their name and address with them. Residents may be asked for their identification prior to entering the site.

To book an appointment to have bulky waste, fridges or freezers removed contact Merton Council on 020 8274 4902.