Bromley council and residents are working hard to improve their area’s green credentials and boost recycling rates at the same time. Recent figures show that across the Bromley area in 2011/12, over 44% of household waste was sent for recycling, reuse or composting, an increase of 4% from 40% in 2009/10. In fact, this increase has seen Bromley hailed by the Green Party as “trailblazing” on the road to improved recycling in London, with its achievements demonstrating a sharp contrast to the reduced recycling performance of over half of the thirty two other boroughs of London in 2014 (DEFRA data).
Fines for fly-tipping
One of Bromley’s methods for improving rates of recycling for items such as mattresses and furniture, as well as construction and garden debris, has been to come down hard on anti-social fly-tipping. Bromley takes serious action against offenders, investigating allegations, following up leads and, where possible, taking criminal proceedings against those caught fly tipping, which executive councillor Colin Smith called “dangerous, harmful and expensive to deal with” when referring to a successful criminal conviction and fine for a Bromley fly-tipper in 2014.
Bulky waste collection in Bromley
Another action proving innovative and successful in motivating the correct dumping of waste and recyclable items is Bromley’s dedicated waste advisor service, which provides a no-obligation visit and estimate for appropriate council disposal to help households decide how to correctly dispose of bulky items. However, there are minimum charges for such services, such as the bulky item collection charge of £27 which, although some households are eligible for payment discounts and concessions, is just a fee too far for some households.The fact that the local authority only collects items from outside of residences also presents difficulties for some local residents, particularly the elderly and disabled, as well as those who don’t have the physical attributes or help to call upon for getting those bulky belongings out onto the street for a pre-arranged pickup.
Adding to the recycling repertoire
So many Bromley residents, whilst keen to recycle their bulky items such as beds and mattresses, actively seek alternatives which add to the area’s recycling repertoire and keep the recycling rates improving, but without the high costs and general inconvenience of council collection. Such alternatives regularly include:
- Donation to charity: It’s great to be able to pass items on, although any items passed to charity have to be in a suitable condition for re-use or re-sale. However, even if there is plenty of life left in an item, the problem of getting it where it needs to go is still a factor which makes this kind of recycling difficult for some households, as many charities cannot collect bulky items due to prohibitive costs of their own and many households don’t have the appropriate vehicles or working-hours opportunity to drop such items off.
- Dropping off at local reuse and recycling centres: There are dedicated centres available in the local area, although this process involves applying for a permit or paying £3 per visit. Drop offs also require householders to be able to physically take their bulky items to the centres, something which isn’t possible for everyone. Similarly, taking items to recycling centres requires an adequate vehicle for transporting the items, and many smaller city vehicles just don’t offer the capacity for popping a bed in a boot!
- Private recycling services: Many London residents are now using the services of private recycling companies which work throughout the UK, collecting bulky items and disposing of them ethically. One such company operating throughout Bromley, Collect Your Old Bed, offers cost-effective collections from £11.99, with services which include:
- Convenient and easy three-step system to arrange collection, via the Collect Your Old Bed website;
- Collection on a choice of dates at customer convenience;
- Collection from inside residences, by arrangement;
- Guaranteed 100% recycling of all bed and mattress parts, with components being recycled into metal, wood and textile items.
Ethical choices boosting recycling rates
With these additional and cost-effective services for families without transport to recycle their own items, or funds to pay Bromley council’s bulky collection rate, Collect Your Old Bed successfully complements Bromley council’s efforts to keep improving recycling rates towards the EU target of 50% by 2020 by keeping unwanted beds and mattresses off the street and out of landfill, by regenerating them back into service in a fully environmentally-friendly, 100% recycled form.Bromley Council Bulky Item collection information correct as of September 2015.