At different times in the year, you may receive a flyer promoting free recycling days for old, damaged or unused items. These collections can be for household or office equipment including clothes, metal, electrical or garden tools.
What a great idea! I can reduce, recycle and de-clutter my home or office, but do you dare to think these collectors might unregulated or illegal?
COUNTY COUNCILS across Dublin at different times have warned residents to ignore these type of collections promoted by paper recycling flyers that have been put through letterboxes. They generally have no waste permit or collection permit numbers noted.
This flyer advertises a ‘Free Recycling Day’ with the opportunity to dispose of all sorts of things; car batteries, laptops, TVs, wardrobes and much more, stuff that wouldn’t be allowed in a regular recycling bin and would generally require a paid collection or drop off to a recycling centre.
These flyers are bogus, should be ignored and handing items over can lead to illegal dumping of your stuff and penalties if the material is identified as belonging to you!
Bogus Recycling – a reality
Think about it, when you take the time to carry your old TV or radio down the stairs, 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 parts out and leaves the remainder on an Irish county road in the dark of night.
Is handing these items over to a no-named collector in a non-authorized or unlicensed waste collection 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 the 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 toxic 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 hedgerows 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 to 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 is of 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 may be 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 neighborhood 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 equipment.
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.