Charges for recycling not related to increase in fly tipping

Charges for recycling not related to increase in fly tipping

Published by Grace Marner with contributions by Local Democracy Reporter Local Democracy Reporter David Hannant
5:31am 14th August 2019. (Updated at 11:33am 14th August 2019)

Norfolk recycling centres have been charging for DIY related waste since April 2018.

Council officers have reiterated that they don't feel that this hasn't led to a rise in fly tipping in the county.

On April 1, 2018, new charges were brought in relating to DIY waste at Norfolk’s tips, with the scrapping of a free allowance for construction and demolition materials.

Fly tipping at the side of the roads

Widespread fears were expressed in the run-up to the change that as a result, people would opt to fly-tip this waste rather than pay the new fees.

However, council officers have reiterated claims that this has not been the case – despite a year-on-year increase in incidents.

The issue was discussed by members of Broadland Council’s scrutiny committee on Wednesday, at which Tony Garland, the councils environmental health officer, played down the link.

Fly tipping in Fenland

In the financial year following the introduction of the new charges, the district did see an increase in incidents – from 428 to 497 – however, this figure was still lower than the 588 reported in 2016/17.

However, the figures presented did not take into account cases where waste had been fly-tipped on private land, which neither district or county council keeps a complete record of.

He said: 

“While there was a year-on-year rise the number was still far lower than the number the prior to that, so we do not feel it has set a trend.”

Fly tipping in West Norfolk

Joel Hull, Norfolk County Council’s head of waste, said: 

“Private land owners can report incidents of fly-tipping, but sometimes they do not do this.”

This, he said, means the council would never receive the full picture of the issue and including some incidents but not others would skew the figures.

Mr Hull added that the changes had achieved its ambition of providing £500,000 of savings for the waste partnership – though it remains to be seen whether this will be replicated for a second year.

He added: 

“The charges are just there to cover the cost of disposing of the waste and do not make and profit, but the aim of saving more than £500,000 in the first year has been achieved.”

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