90% of tradesmen refuse to recycle, says survey

Written by: RWW | Published:

A huge majority of traders defy rules for disposing of waste and have broken the law at least once when it comes to disposing of work-related rubbish, according to waste specialist Business Waste.co.uk.

A huge majority of traders defy rules for disposing of waste and have broken the law at least once when it comes to disposing of work-related rubbish, according to waste specialist BusinessWaste.co.uk.

As many as nine out of 10 of the UK's army of white van men are said to have taken refuse from a job home and put it in their own domestic bin rather than legally disposing of it as trade waste, said the waste specialist after conducting an anonymous survey of workmen and finding they have cut corners to say cash on dumping rubbish.

"We already knew that many workmen take the odd chance on avoiding trade waste fees," said BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall, "But we didn't realise that is was quite so widespread."

According to BusinessWaste.co.uk, which says it deals with the legal and safe disposal and recycling of trade waste right across Britain, virtually every self-employed or contracted tradesman has illegally disposed on refuse at some time in their careers.

An anonymous phone poll of over 300 traders who were prepared to give an honest reply to the survey team's questions is reported to have found that:

  • 91% had disposed of work-related waste in their domestic bins at least once
  • 73% had disposed of work-related waste in their clients' bins
  • 27% still dispose of work-related waste in their domestic bins
  • 22% had burned waste rather than dispose or recycle it
  • 12% had fly-tipped waste illegally

Of those who had disposed of waste illegally:

  • 63% said it was because it was more convenient than taking it to a tip or recycling centre
  • 37% said it was to avoid paying trade waste fees

"That's a shocking level of illegal activity," said Hall ."But for most one-man-band contractors they consider it a risk worth taking."

Business Waste said that one consolation they can take from their figures is that the financial aspect is less of a driver than convenience.

"Many tradesmen told us that the last thing they want at the end of a long working day or week is to queue to dump their waste at the tip," added Hall. "Far easier to stuff it at the bottom of the wheelie bin at home."

While it's a difficult crime for local authorities to police with council budgets being cut across the country, BusinessWaste.co.uk urges councils to ensure that local traders don't cheat on waste.

An electrician interviewed by BusinessWaste.co.uk said he had recently had a bathroom fitted: "I must have got the only trader in the world to dump the waste from their job in my front garden," he told BusinessWaste.co.uk. "It made me so cross, I'm determined to change my ways with rubbish."


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