Fears that Council charges may lead to more flytipping
Northumberland residents taking rubble, soil and plasterboard to household waste recovery centres in the county are being advised that from September 14, a small charge will apply for some items.
But concerns have been raised that this will lead to more flytipping, as some will attempt to avoid having to pay.
The council is under unprecedented pressure to save money to protect frontline services, and this is one of a number of measures that have been considered in order to avoid other service cuts.
The council consulted users of household waste centres, and almost half of those spoken to considered that a small charge for some items of DIY waste would be more acceptable than the other options of reducing opening hours or closing sites.
While local authorities have to dispose of ordinary household waste they are not under an obligation to take DIY waste. A number of other councils have already introduced charges and some provide no facilities at all for DIY waste.
Soil, rubble and plasterboard are subject to a £2 per bag/sheet charge – with charges of £12 for a load in a standard car/hatchback; £20 in a small trailer/estate car/small van; £40 in a longer trailer and £80 in a transit van. Users of vans, trailers and commercial vehicles will also need a permit.
Payments will be by credit or debit or pre-paid payment card only – and visitors to the sites should agree the charge and pay before depositing their waste.
These charges to residents will still not cover the total cost of disposing of this DIY waste and the council will continue to fund the rest of the cost. There is still no charge for taking garden waste and other DIY items such as sink units and bathroom suites to waste recovery centres.
Councillor Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member responsible for local services at Northumberland County Council said: “We know that our household waste centres are highly valued by residents, and introducing these small charges has not been an easy decision. However the council has to save money so that it can maintain essential frontline services, including those for the most vulnerable.
“We are not obliged to dispose of householders’ soil, rubble and plasterboard, and a number of other councils have already introduced charges – many higher than these for Northumberland.”
Some of your comments on our Facebook page:
HY: So there will be more rubbish dumped at the beach presumably? Great move!
MS: anything for more money are they stupid people will just dump more rubbish down back roads and in woods and beaches
SG: I suspect it will cost more to deal with the fly tipping that is likely to ensue.