is it illegal to use someone elses bin

With the Christmas period just coming to an end, you may have found that your household bins are much fuller than usual thanks to the presents, food and drinks that your family enjoyed. This combined with a lockdown, which has meant that we’ve all spent much more time at home than normal, has led to overflowing wheelie bins for many households.

If you found yourself in this situation, you might have been tempted to sneak a bag of rubbish into your neighbours bin. But what could the consequences of that be? Is it illegal to use someone else’s bin? We answer this question and explore more below.

What the Law Says

The letter of the law says that it is a form of anti social behaviour and technically illegal, as it’s classed as fly-tipping. It is referred to in the waste industry as ‘bin stuffing’ and while many might think it’s harmless and are unaware that it’s a crime, it can be a nuisance to the neighbour in question.

If you adding an extra bag means that it spills over the top and the lid won’t close, the local council might refuse to empty their bin on collection day. Or, if your waste hasn’t been separated correctly such as with recyclables in the right bins, it may get refused on these grounds too.

Despite being a form of anti-social behaviour and technically illegal, it is the type of neighbour complaint that should be rectified by dialogue between two mature parties. If you’ve been a victim of this, it’s far better to amicably sort out the matter between you than involve the authorities, which might get you or your neighbour a warning or a fine.

Remind them that as a neighbourly citizen the right thing to do is to dispose of your own waste yourself, even if this requires an extra trip to the tip, or using the services of a local waste removal company. Discussing this with your neighbour could ward off any further action, and could create a solution everybody is happy with.

If the illegal dumping is of a large scale such as lorries/vans dumping rubbish and potentially hazardous waste), then it would become appropriate to get the authorities involved. You can report large scale illegal fly tipping here: https://www.gov.uk/report-flytipping

Disposing of Excess Waste

If you are based in Nottinghamshire or the surrounding areas, Colson Transport provides a bin collection service for excess household waste. We can arrange this as a one off service if the waste has piled up over Christmas and in lockdown. Give us a call today for a quote on 01773 765720 or fill in our contact form online.