2 January 2019 by Joshua Doherty

East Devon considers waste container charges

East Devon district council’s cabinet will consider plans to charge property developers for supplying new-build properties with recycling and waste containers.

Developers of new build properties in East Devon could face having to pay for the containers from April 2019 (picture: Shutterstock)

The plans come in response to ‘pressure’ on the budget for the supply of containers to households in the district, the council has said.

The council’s recycling and waste partnership board has recommended that developers are charged £80 per property for each set of containers which includes a grey wheeled bin, a green box, green sack, food caddy and kitchen caddy.

Where a development has a communal waste collection service, the developer will be charged £300 for every communal bin supplied under the proposals. Currently these containers are provided free of charge by the council.

A new charge to householders of £30 per residual waste container that needs replacing has also been put forward, but will not apply if a container is stolen, or damaged by the council’s contractor. Recycling containers will continue to be replaced for free.

Housing

According to the council, new build housing stock in East Devon is expected to continue to rise. It says that implementing the proposed policy and charges would allow annual cost savings of around £40 – £76,000 “depending on charging options and numbers of properties created”.

The council added that its ‘container budget’ for 2018/19 is £105,000, which is currently “under pressure” as property growth increases and is expected to be £7,000 over-budget this financial year. The year from October 2017 to October 2018 saw total container costs run to £126,000, the council said.

‘Difficult decisions’

Councillor Tom Wright, the council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said the plans come as the council needs to make “difficult” decision in light of funding cuts.

Property developers will be charged £80 per property for each set of containers for new build properties

“We spend more than £120,000 per year on containers for recycling and waste, and have been supplying them free of charge to developers of new properties,” Mr Wright explained.

He added: “As part of our Transformation Strategy to help us set a balanced budget, we need to start making some difficult decisions to reduce costs. Other utilities provided to new properties are charged for, and that is the logic we have applied to this decision.

“We want the developer of the new property to be responsible for the cost of supplying recycling and waste containers to new properties. We’ve also agreed to the principle of charging householders for replacement grey wheeled bins and have been careful not to recommend a charge for recycling containers.”

The report recommends the charges come in to force from April 1, 2019 and be reviewed annually.

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