Lockdown threw up plenty of opportunities for a lot of us, opportunities we never could have expected.
Building a garden bar, getting into the shape of our lives, becoming a master baker...
...the list of new found skills and hobbies was endless, and our social media feeds were filled with one-upmanship, healthy rivalry and bucket loads of encouragement.
The opportunities were all good!
Opportunities and opportunists are two different things though, and unfortunately, there were plenty of opportunists in operation throughout lockdown as well.
As households had the time on their hands to do a spot of spring cleaning, decluttering and reorganising, there seemed to be an increase in the need for house clearances and rubbish removals.
This might not have been a problem, had the tips not been forced to close, but as their gates were locked firmly shut, the opportunists saw their moment to strike.
‘Man with van. Cheap rubbish removals.’
‘Tip Runs. Bin Emptying. Same Day. Fully Licensed.’
You probably saw posts like these all over your social media feeds in the months from March to September.
When there is a demand, the supply will find a way, and in this instance, the supply came in the form of unlicensed and unqualified criminals, masquerading as professional refuse collectors.
The idea of someone coming to collect your unwanted items is appealing, we get it.
Out of sight, out of mind, and all that, but how many times have you heard stories about people being stung with fines and penalties for fly tipping, months after they felt sure they had entrusted a reliable and reputable company to legally dispose of their waste. If it’s your crap, it’s usually your fault.
It happens. And it seemed that all the way throughout and then after lockdown, it happened on an ever increasing scale.
Our team travel all over the country, and saw first hand how some of our beauty spots had become dumping grounds for everything from mattresses to trampolines.
Well, as depressing as those sights are to behold, the good news is, that in some councils at least, a hard stance is being taken, with culprits being taken to the cleaners, which is a little ironic...
Basingstoke Council have recently fined three men a combined £6,000 for their lockdown flytipping entrepreneurship, if you can call it that, and if this amount of money isn’t enough of a deterrent, perhaps the fact that the maximum penalty for flytipping is five years imprisonment will be.
Always check the paperwork and licences of any company who deal with waste removal.
The best criminals get away with it, and leave you to foot the bill.