Bogus Recycling – a reality
Sometimes you might see a poster or receive a flyer promoting a free collection service for old or used items. These collections can be for household or office equipment including clothes, metal, electrical or garden tools. Great you think! I can declutter my home, but do you dare to think these collectors might not be regulated or legal?
When you take the time to carry your old TV or radio down from upstairs, you might actually be handing it over to someone who simply loads it up onto a truck for delivery to a developing country or alternatively takes a few part out and leaves the remainder on an Irish county road in the dark of night. Is handing these items over to a no name individual in a white van the right choice?
Depending on market prices collector can generate an income by sending products to other countries or by simply by dumping the items. This is particularly true for recycling computer, tablets, TV’s monitors, printers and other electronic items. Recycling electrical and electronic items officially costs more in Europe but collector can get paid for exporting them to buyers in developing countries who will remove the metals for resale but won’t pay to protect their staff or their communities from the toxics emissions and waste.
As the price of metal increases washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers are becoming increasingly attractive items for unofficial recyclers. These items are stripped locally and unprofitable waste is disposed of in hedge rows and fields making our communities untidy, dismal and possibly toxic places to live.
Costs of Illegal Dumping
One example of waste costs comes from Dublin City Council who spends on average €55,000 every month dealing with illegal dumping around the city, that’s nearly €700,000 per year (Source: Dublinlive.ie). This money and similar amounts from other county council areas could be saved and reinvested in local communities if illegal collection and dumping could be stopped.
The disposal of rubbish in any area of land in Ireland without licensed approval and permission, is illegal. It is punishable by fines from €150 up to €10 million upon conviction and 10 years’ imprisonment. In order know more about a bogus collection, we have compiled the list below.
14 tips on spotting a Bogus Recycling Collection?
- The leaflet presenting the collections service are low quality.
- The collector does not provide a waste facility address on leaflets
- The waste facility license number is not visible on the leaflet.
- There is no landline telephone listed on printed materials.
- The phone is never answered when called.
- An email address is omitted from the flyer or poster.
- The collector has no website or social media presence.
- Collection vehicles don’t have a waste collection permit number on display. (required by law)
- Collections are made outside of traditional business hours.
- Collection representatives don’t have any formal identification.
- Only certain waste items are collected i.e. the most valuable.
- A bogus charity maybe named on the collection flyers or posters.
- No help or support is offered to move or lift heavy electrical items from homes or businesses.
- No personal service or advice is offered on recycling different products.
It’s not an easy process to determine whether a recycler is exporting or illegal dumping your once loved stuff including electrical or electronic waste like hairdryers or phones. You can’t just go by what they say! Some will use environmental or charitable causes that sound good, but they are still unofficial. If you have a gut feeling it’s not right, follow that feeling and don’t leave the items out for collection.
Ask yourself the question – Who’s Paying?
One way to determine an official collector v unofficial collector is to figure out who is paying the recycling cost. If it’s free for you to recycle, then who is paying? A manufacturer? The State? Local Authority? If you are not paying, and there is no clear sponsor paying the costs for collection and recycling, please question the validity of the collector. For example, Recycle IT is social enterprises who received some funds and also generate an income from responsible recycling.
About Recycle IT
Recycle IT is the only Community Electronic Recycling Social Enterprise in Dublin providing a neighbourhood collection service for all types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). During 2016 Recycle IT offered collection services to 100,000 homes, community groups and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE including monitors, computers, cookers and TV’s.
Recycle IT services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT are supported by Pobal, South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow.
Visit our website for further details or call 01 4578321.