Students leaving a ‘free’ sofa on street receive fine for fly-tipping - as warning is issued to others

‘“Bit harsh, isn’t it?’

Students have been warned not to leave unwanted furniture outside their homes after a group of tenants received a £400 fine for fly-tipping.

Bristol Waste shared a photograph on Twitter of a dirty white sofa left outside a property with a ‘free’ note written on it, along with a yellow enforcement sticker from Bristol City Council.

The tweet read: “The tenants who left this sofa outside when they moved out were given a £400 fixed penalty notice for fly-tipping by the @BristolCouncil Enforcement Team.

“Moving out of a student house? Don’t risk it, get it sorted with our Sort Out For Summer guide.”

The company’s guide for students provides ideas on how to get rid of items, from selling them to paying £45 for a ‘really big bin’.

It also states that waste left on the street, even if next to a full bin, can be classed as fly-tipping and result in a ‘hefty fine’.

Help is being offered to students in getting to recycling centres as part of a partnership with Bristol Waste, Bristol City Council and the universities

Bristol Waste’s tweet has shocked some users, however.

Gideon Viljoen said: “Bit harsh, isn’t it?”

Anthony Cleaves said: “Do you plan on fining the travellers who keep leaving the green on the new link road a dump or the Downs?”

The number of fly-tipping incidents reported to Bristol City Coucnil rose 7% to 9,286 discoveries in 2020-21 from the previous year.

However, no fines resulting from court convictions were issued during the period.

Bristol City Council also carried out 2,108 enforcement actions in 2020-21, including 126 fixed penalty notices.

Bristol Waste’s guide for students clearing out homes can be found by clicking here.