Waste charges in Suffolk ‘could lead to fly-tipping’ claim

Brome and Oakley Community Recycling Centre ANL-160302-144159009
Brome and Oakley Community Recycling Centre ANL-160302-144159009
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Charges are to be introduced for taking rubble, soil and plasterboard to Suffolk household waste recycling centres.

Residents are currently able to dispose of two bags of these materials a day for free at the centres but Suffolk County Council is set to introduce charges from April.

I would hope that the waste operator and the council carefully monitor the success or otherwise of this change and let us know whether there has there been an increase in fly-tipping

Julia Wakelam

Council bosses say the charges, starting from £2 per 25kg bag, will help to reduce costs of the service as part of their overall 2016/17 budget savings.

However, concerns have been raised that such charges could result in an increase in fly tipping.

Recently the Brome recycling centre was closed after its operators said the prices paid for waste materials dropped.

St Edmundsbury Borough Cllr Julia Wakelam, of the Green Party said: “I would hope that the waste operator and the council carefully monitor the success or otherwise of this change and let us know whether there has there been an increase in fly-tipping.

“Of equal concern is that this is yet another service... which used to be funded from council tax and now is not.

“For this we do have to blame central Government primarily - funding cuts to local Government have been savage and unfair, as have been those to other public services.

“I worry what Suffolk will be like to live in, in five years’ time.”

The new arrangements at the recycling centres will remove the two bag limit.

On arrival, residents will need to report to site staff who will determine the amount they need to pay based on weight and payment will be taken by debit or credit card.

The council says helping residents to dispose of these materials at recycling centres is not a statutory duty and is a cost to the taxpayer.

Cllr Matthew Hicks, cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “We are aware that our recycling centres are highly valued by residents; introducing these small charges has not been an easy choice to make.

“We’re not obliged to dispose of householders’ rubble, soil and plasterboard, and a number of other councils have already introduced charges for these materials.

“The removal of the current limits for this waste accepted at our recycling centres should make the service easier for Suffolk residents to use.”

Visit www.suffolkrecycling.org.uk