COUNCILS are reminding local residents that it is their responsibility to dispose of white goods legally or face a fine.
2015 saw a rise in the amount of white goods, such as fridges and freezers, being left on pavements or fly-tipped across Tamworth Borough and Lichfield District.
The council is concerned that residents have been leaving out white goods on the street for scrap metal traders to take away.
However, because scrap metal disposal centres are no longer allowed to accept these appliances, the council believes that rogue scrap metal collectors are removing the parts that can be easily sold, such as the condensers and motors, and leaving the remaining carcass or dumping it in other locations, often lanes.
Placing items on the street for collection by scrap metal dealers is classed as fly-tipping and this could see local people facing a fine or court action.
Also, if the item is taken away by an unlicensed waste carrier who then dumps it or uses an unregistered tip, the householder is ultimately responsible for it under ‘duty of care’ legislation and again could face a fine or court action.
Councillor Iain Eadie, Cabinet Member for Waste Management at Lichfield District Council, said: “It’s really important that everyone understands their responsibilities around disposing of unwanted goods to avoid fly-tipping penalties.
“Since metal recycling centres stopped accepting fridges and freezers, because of the need to deal with CFC gasses, we’ve noticed a sharp rise in how many are being left across the district.
“This is why we’re encouraging everyone to take unwanted items to Household Recycling Centres, or use registered waste carriers to take them away, to make sure their property does not come back to haunt them.”
Bulky items such as fridges and freezers, as well as furniture, electrical goods and much more, can be disposed of at Household Recycling Centres at Lower House Lane, Woodend or Lichfield Recycling Centre on Trent Valley Road.
“We want to take this opportunity to remind local people that you need to make sure that if you pay someone to remove and dispose of any waste on your behalf that they are registered with the Environment Agency as a waste carrier,” added Cllr Eadie.
Lichfield District Council also offers a bulky waste collection service. It costs £15 to have one item removed, with extra items costing £6.20 each. A maximum of four items can be removed at a time. Discounts are available for anyone claiming housing benefit.
To book a bulky waste collection call the team on 0345 002 0022.