WT Skip Hire

The Problem of Unregulated Waste Disposal Apps

Posted on: 17/10/2023

phone showing apps

Those of us old enough to remember the original iPhone advertising campaign may recall the slogan “There’s an App for that”. Strange to think there was a time when the public needed to be educated on what an app was and how smartphone software could be modified according to the needs of the user.

When it comes to waste disposal there are several apps intended to broker deals between smartphone users and waste disposal companies. The basic principle behind all of them is that you can list the waste that needs disposing and a company can come and collect it from you for a fee. The apps make money by taking a percentage of that fee for brokering the deal or charging firms for early access.

In theory this should be fine, provided the app provider is registered as an upper tier broker of waste disposal services and all companies offering services are licensed waste carriers.

However, as the Environment Agency (EA) pointed out earlier this year, there is no regulation in place to ensure that the app providers and waste carriers are properly licensed.

A household or business could download what looks like a legitimate app and be put in contact with unlicensed waste carriers offering a cheap service. This comes with a host of problems: the waste could be fly-tipped or illegally shipped abroad. Hazardous waste might not be properly identified.

If fly-tipped waste can be traced back to the household or business where it originated, they may face a fine or prosecution even if they acted in good faith. It is up to the owners of the waste to ensure that their waste is disposed of by a licensed carrier.

The EA recommends that you ask the following questions before you book waste disposal through an app.

  • Does the website list only publicly registered upper tier waste carriers?
  • Does either the platform or the person collecting your waste confirm where it is going before they collect it?
  • Will you get proof of payment?
  • Do the payment and carrier information match?

Alternatively, you could organise waste disposal through a trusted local firm that has a long history of safe and honest waste disposal in your area. We don’t have “an app for that”, but our online booking form is simple to use and works on mobile phone and desktop browsers.

Contact us today for a free quote or more information. You can also call 01493 668118 to order your skip.