It’s that time of year when many of us will be treating ourselves to new sofas, furnishings for the house and white goods. If we’re lucky, some of us could be given new electronic items. Old items dumped on the street will not be tolerated by Merton Council, whose enforcement officers will be out and about over the Christmas and new year period.
Every year the council spends over £5 million clearing up after people who dump their rubbish on Merton’s streets. According to DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) the clean-up bill across England is £50 million – a lot of money that could go on services to benefit the community.
The council’s website lists some of the ways in which it is possible to responsibly dispose of the old to make way for the new. Your old sofa could be just what somebody else is looking for and there could be a new home waiting for that cupboard you don’t need any more. There are opportunities to give away old items or sell them. For items that have come to the end of their life, the council’s reuse and recycling centre in Garth Road is the ideal place to dispose of them so they can be recycled where possible.
The council also offers a free bulky waste collection service, but, depending on demand, there can be a five-week wait before your collection is possible.
Householders are responsible for the disposal of their waste and could be liable to pay a £400 fine or face court action if their waste is found in the street or other public location. This means that householders need to check that any waste they have taken away is done so by a licenced waste disposal company.
Merton Council cabinet member for street cleanliness and parking Councillor Ross Garrod said: “Christmas is a time when some of our residents may have been lucky enough to get new electrical appliances such as fridges, hairdryers and TVs or furniture for the house. People will need to organise for the items they are replacing to be taken away and there are a number of ways in which they can do this responsibly. Dumping old items on the street is never acceptable and we will come down very hard on people who commit this environmental crime.”