Southend residents are being urged not to leave their unwanted household items outside charity shops as they face the risk of being fined for fly-tipping.
As part of the national restrictions in place, non-essential shops are closed other than for click and collect. This includes charity shops.
Over the past two weeks, there has been a substantial increase in items being left by their doors as people clear their homes out. This constitutes fly-tipping, and as such, anyone found to be leaving items outside charity shops could face a £400 fine.
Unlike when the country went into national lockdown in March, Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) remain open for public use. For opening times, please visit www.southend.gov.uk/hwrc. Residents can also put textiles and clothes out on their usual collection day
If residents wish to support the charity concerned, they are being urged to consider storing unwanted items temporarily until the shops re-open, which will be much more beneficial to the charity. Chargeable bulky waste collections can also be booked online at www.southend.gov.uk/bulkywaste
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “It is disappointing to see the rise in the number of charity shops being left with unwanted items on their doorstep. This not only leaves those responsible open to a fine, it also shows a lack of understanding of the severity of the current situation. Leaving your home to dump items outside a charity shop is not essential.
“I appreciate many people may be clearing their homes out whilst they spend time at home and think they are being helpful by leaving things outside charity shops. However, I must ask that anyone doing so keeps any unwanted items in a safe place until the charity shops reopen, or visit the Household Waste Recycling Centres, which remain open through the current restrictions. Alternatively, use the textile collection if appropriate or book a bulky waste collection online.”
For more information regarding waste services throughout the coronavirus outbreak, please visit www.southend.gov.uk/recycling