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Brits admit to fly-tipping and dumping Christmas waste on neighbours

  • Brits expect to fill an estimated 109 million bin bags this Christmas Day
  • Survey suggests 4.74 million people have stashed excess rubbish in neighbours’ bins previously
  • 18.5 million people plan to visit the tip between Christmas and New Year

Birmingham, UK. 12 December 2017: The average British adult will fill two bin bags of waste this Christmas Day, the equivalent of 109 million bin bags, according to new research* from Clearabee, the on-demand rubbish removal business. Over half (54 per cent) expect to produce more waste than they can fit in their bins this Christmas.

Nearly one in ten (seven per cent) of British adults will fill five or more bags on Christmas Day and one per cent of Brits will enjoy an exceptionally plentiful Christmas, expecting to fill 10 bags of waste on Christmas Day.

Of those who expect to have excess waste, two-thirds (67 per cent) will spend time taking a trip to the tip over the Christmas period, which could mean Brits make as many as 18.5 million trips to the tip. Other plans to manage excess waste this Christmas include “neigh-tipping” - stashing rubbish in neighbours’ bins (eight per cent), leaving it in the garden (14 per cent) or simply letting the bin overflow (12 per cent).

While shocking, this is better than past behaviour. One in ten British adults (9%) questioned by Clearabee’s researchers, the equivalent of around 4.74 million people nationwide, say they have stashed waste in a neighbour’s bin in the past, while four per cent say they have set fire to excess Christmas rubbish.

Shockingly, three per cent of Brits (approximately 1.5 million people nationwide) admit to having fly-tipped Christmas rubbish, risking a fine of up to £50,000. Residents of London and the North East of England and people aged between 18 and 34 were most likely to admit to fly-tipping.

Overflowing bins have led to unpleasant consequences for one in five (20 per cent) Brits. Of those who have experienced issues with overflowing bins, over half (51 per cent) have experienced a foul smell, a third (33 per cent) have had foxes scatter their rubbish everywhere and a fifth (20 per cent) say that overflowing bins have attracted rats to their property. Londoners are most likely to have experienced issues with overflowing bins with over a third (38%) saying they have experienced this.

Daniel Long, founder and managing director at Clearabee, comments: “Christmas is a time of giving and sharing, but it is also a time of great waste and anti-social behaviour. Shockingly, some people plan to stash their excess rubbish in their neighbours’ bins and even dump it illegally.”

“Mountains of wrapping paper, packaging, leftover food and empty bottles from entertaining friends and relatives create much more waste at Christmas time. Fortnightly bin collections mean more than 25 million people are expecting their bins to overflow this Christmas, and with over 18 million people potentially taking a trip to the tip, recycling centres could be busier than the Boxing Day Sales.

“Our new Beebag Minis offer an affordable way to keep clutter off the pavements and enable people to avoid a trip to the tip and put their feet up and relax over the holidays.”

Clearabee is launching a new bag and sack product, called the Beebag Mini, to help Brits tackle the issue of overflowing bins this Christmas. Customers can order a roll of Beebag Minis with free delivery. The bags come in either standard or heavy duty strengths and pricing begins at £9.99 for the removal of a standard bag within 24 hours.

*Consumer research was conducted by Opinium. A nationally representative sample of 2,000 British adults were surveyed in November 2017. 109 million was estimated by multiplying the average number of bags filled per UK adult (2.1) by the adult population figure (51,767,000).


Gillian Edwards | Roaring Mouse PR
T: +44 (0)7454 988 456

Clearabee is the UK’s largest on-demand rubbish removal service operating nationwide using only its own fully trained and vetted employees. Clearabee provides on-demand junk clearance and rubbish removal services to thousands of domestic and commercial customers across the UK each month. Based in Birmingham, it employs 165 people and operates a fleet of 65 vehicles operating nationally. Clearabee is licensed by the Environment Agency, accredited by the Contractors Health and Safety scheme and is an affiliated member of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management. More than 90 per cent of the waste collected by Clearabee is recycled or reused. Clearabee actively chooses zero-to-landfill waste processing partners wherever possible.