A waste disposal expert has warned that discarded packaging and cancelled bin collections make the Christmas holidays a peak time for domestic fly tipping.
Harsha Rathnayake, CEO of London Junk, says households really struggle to get rid of unwanted Christmas wrapping paper, packaging and other items during the festive season.
Huge amounts of discarded items along with confusion over local authority refuse collection schedules causes homeowners to overfill bins and leave out extra bags in the street for days.
This can attract pests such as rats and lead to a serious health risk with rubbish being scattered by the wind across UK streets.
Christmas waste is a serious issue with the pressure on our bins greater at this time of year than any other.
The wrapping paper discarded by British families on Christmas morning will be enough to circle the globe ten times, while UK Christmas trees would stretch to the North Pole and back if placed end to end.
This level of waste means the Christmas period is a peak time for fly tippers who become unable to resist the temptation to take their rubbish and dump it somewhere else.
Now Mr Rathnayake is warning households to ensure they are fully informed of their council’s bin collection schedules and to resist the urge to take matters into their own hands.
The problem of excessive Christmas waste is one that is unfortunately growing each year
He said: “The problem of excessive Christmas waste is one that is unfortunately growing each year particularly as cash strapped local authorities are forced to provide minimal services over the holidays.
“This leads to a huge problem for home owners as they watch mountains of cardboard packaging, wrapping paper, bubble wrap, plastics, glass and tons of food waste pile up and spill out of bins up and down the country.
“This creates a ticking time bomb of fly tipping temptation as many are unable to resist the urge to throw their rubbish in the car boot and dump it somewhere else.
“Bigger families are likely to feel it the worst of all, and with bags of rubbish piling up on doorsteps there’s no wonder desperate mums and dads look elsewhere to take waste.
“Fly tipping causes all kinds of health and hygiene hazards, not to mention the grave threat it can pose to our natural environment and wildlife.
“Christmas is a busy time for everyone and tasks are piling up so it’s easy not to give managing waste disposal a second thought.
“That’s why it is important to make sure you know exactly what the score is with rubbish collection over Christmas.
“If people are worried about the struggle with Christmas junk, they should know they there are other options available too.
“While most businesses power down over Christmas, we’re expecting one of the busiest periods of the year.
“We’re hoping to alleviate the problem of fly tipping by working additional hours across December and into the New Year.
“It’s certainly worth doing some research to find out more about waste collection companies in your area, as many will be offering their services across the holiday season.”