Our planet is approaching a climate and environmental crisis, and how we deal with waste is currently a big part of the problem. It can also be part of the solution – but while there are rogue traders working with a free pass, it’ll be impossible to make things better.
Sadly, it always seems to be down to consumers to educate and protect themselves – so to make navigating the world of waste disposal a little bit easier, we’ve put together some help and advice on spotting rogue traders and flytippers.
Poor Work Damages All of Us
The environment – both locally and globally – is under massive threat. It’s no longer alarmism or fear-mongering to say that we are on a path to complete environmental collapse. Even if we turn the ship around 180 degrees, we’ll still have lost much of the irreplaceable beauty of the natural world. But if we do nothing, we are all certainly doomed.
Poor waste disposal, carried out by illegitimate companies, harms the planet on a larger scale than you might think. A local flytipping site is an unsightly nuisance to the community, but there are thousands of places just like it all over the country. That waste isn’t always inert; sometimes it’s hazardous waste, lumped in with household waste.
Hazardous materials can enter the local ecosystem, destroying wildlife. That effect can reach far and wide, beyond the boundaries of any town or city. Plastics can be washed into waterways and eventually the sea, where they decompose faster in seawater and under UV light. So potent is the impact humans have had that our food now contains the plastic that we’ve dumped. The toxic elements in this plastic soup are killing marine life – so what’s it doing to our bodies?
On top of all this, there’s illegally burned waste, which releases toxic gases and particles into the air. If inhaled, they can be severely damaging to humans. Animals with smaller bodies won’t be able to filter those poisons out – and they’ll die.
Poor waste disposal is far more damaging than it first appears. It’s not so much about blighting local countryside or local communities as it is about blighting the whole planet.
It’s up to all of us to look for waste management companies that prioritise recycling, that safely dispose of hazardous waste and that seek every opportunity to reduce landfill.
Spotting Rogue Traders
A fully-fledged, legitimate commercial waste collection company will have accreditations and licences. Ask for a Waste Carrier Licence – any waste disposal business worth its salt will be happy to show theirs off.
Be cautious of cash in hand payments, which are often a sign of tax workarounds or out and out fraud. Of course, cash is sometimes the easiest way to pay – but if there’s no receipt and you don’t see the job logged anywhere, raise a flag.
Get multiple quotes when you’re shopping around – fraudsters can charge as much as real companies, but sometimes you’ll get a price that’s not like the others; irresistibly cheap.
If you get a ridiculously low quote, you’re well within your rights to ask questions. If you get choppy answers or they try to brush you off altogether – and they’re not willing to provide their licencing information – you’d do well to avoid them.