Harrow is an area which is proving itself keen to be green, with approximately 49% of household waste now being sent for recycling, reuse or composting (2013/14 figures), continuing a year-on-year rise. As such, Harrow is considered to be one of few London boroughs to be “trailblazing recycling for London” according to Jenny Jones, Green Assembly member, as reported by the Green Party in response to DEFRA data which recorded poor performance by up to half of London’s thirty three boroughs in 2014, but commended Harrow as one of the top three boroughs.However, Harrow residents need to remain vigilant to their role in ensuring that their clean, green progress continues in an upward trend, as other trends, such as fly-tipping are also on the rise in the UK (Parliament, 2014), with an annual cost to local authorities of a whopping £850 million. Certainly, for some local residents the local fly-tipping issue is so frustrating, that in March 2015, a You Tube video appeared online to demonstrate the lack of respect for the local environment shown by a minority of local individuals who continue to dispose of fast-food and drinks containers, other packaging, car parts, textiles and mattresses in an anti-social and environmentally irresponsible way.So what services are available to help Harrow communities reduce fly-tipping and keep up their cycle of recycling?
Refuse and recycling facilities
Harrow’s local Waste, Refuse and Recycling Centre provides a free to use drop-off centre for those delivering waste by car only. These items include smaller recycling-bin items, as well as larger household items such as fridges and washing machines. Unfortunately for residents though, those particularly large household items such as beds, which may require transportation to the centre by van, now incur costs as the council only accepts van drop-offs on a fee-paid basis.
Local Authority Bulky Item Collection
The alternative to DIY drop-offs is Harrow’s bulky and heavy item collection service, which also incurs considerable fees – £36 for one recyclable item or £52 for non-recyclable. Although there are reduced fees available for second and subsequent items, and concessionary rates for residents in receipt of certain benefits, the cost alone of this service is prohibitive for some households and possibly one of the contributory factors to fly-tipping in the local area.Additionally, collections for this service take place on one day only each week, require booking one week in advance and require the items to be outside the property for collection, not ideal when a quick pick-up is needed or if disability, illness or other restrictions such as living alone and having no assistance mean that a bulky item such as a bed and mattress is just too hefty to get out of the door. Add to the fact that items need to be outside by 6.30 am on collection day, and the service really starts to lose its convenience factor.
Private Recycling Services
One of the more cost-effective and convenient alternatives for Harrow residents is the availability of private collection and recycling services of reputable companies such as Collect Your Old Bed. Instead of those very costly single item prices and the hassle of getting the mattress outside by 6.30 am, Collect Your Old Bed services include:
- Low prices for collection, starting from £11.99
- A convenient 3-step process to arrange collection via the Collect Your Old Bed website:
- Put in the postcode for collection
- Select the items to be collected
- Choose a collection date and add in contact details
- An assured process of 100% recycling of your unwanted bed and mattress into a range of other items, including pet bedding, carpet backing and textile items from recycled mattress fabric, pet litter and garden chippings from recycled wood or metal components and items from recycled steel springs.
Comparing costs, keeping clean and green
Despite the significant costs for local authority collection for those families without transport, Collect Your Old Bed proves that there are alternatives which are cost-effective as well as convenient and which will support Harrow residents in keeping their area clean, maintaining the high level of recycling in the area and retaining their status as one of the top three London Boroughs for recycling household and bulky waste.Harrow Borough Council Bulky Item collection information correct as of August 2015.