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Throwing your Christmas tree in the bushes could cost you £2,500

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People who illegally dispose of their Christmas trees are being warned that they could face a hefty fine of up to £2,500. Stock photo

People who illegally dispose of their Christmas trees are being warned that they could face a hefty fine of up to £2,500. Stock photo

PA Archive/PA Images

People who illegally dispose of their Christmas trees are being warned that they could face a hefty fine of up to £2,500. Stock photo

People who illegally dispose of their Christmas trees are being warned that they could face a hefty fine of up to £2,500.

Deciding what to do with your tree is often one of the biggest clean-up decisions, with some tempted to dispose of the tree amongst bushes and other trees.

But leaving your Christmas tree in any common land, including on top of your garden wall, is classed as fly-tipping.

According to nidirect, fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of rubbish or bulky items on land where dumping isn't allowed.

And local councils won't hesitate to give those caught fly-tipping a fixed penalty notice of £80. The maximum fine for the offence is £2,500, if convicted in a Magistrates Court.

Fortunately, there are a number of responsible ways to dispose of your tree.

All local recycling centres should take your tree, but check first as you may need to book an appointment. There are also a number of drop-off points in most boroughs.

Belfast Zoo says it is no longer recycling Christmas trees for their animals due to the new enforced Covid-19 regulations.

Northern Ireland's only zoo usually appeals for people's festive trees every year but have decided against it this year because the "protection of staff and animals was paramount during these uncertain times".

Your tree could still be of use to a charity though.

Kinedale Donkeys, based in Ballynahinch, will be accepting trees through drop-off only.

They also appealed for a small £5 donation to help care for their donkeys.

The Northern Ireland Hospice is also collecting trees to raise money to care for local people living with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses.

The collection for residents living in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Council area will take place on January 9 and the Hospice is kindly asking for a suggested donation of £10 per household tree.

Belfast Telegraph


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