Derbyshire council’s new Conservative administration has removed a charge for the disposal of DIY waste at its nine household waste recycling centres – after taking over control of the authority from Labour last week (5 May).
The council has claimed that the move is in response to a government pledge to review guidance around charges at CA sites.
Derbyshire currently has a network of nine HWRC sites at Ashbourne, Ilkeston, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Loscoe, Bretby, Glossop and Northwood, which are run by the Shanks and Interserve partnership – Resource Recovery Solutions (Derbyshire) – and at Buxton – run by Suez.
Charges were initially introduced on Monday 3 April, in what the council claimed was a move to help pay the county’s £37.2m waste bill each year. Under the charging regime, residents were required to pay £3 per standard rubble sack to deposit soil, bricks, rubble and ceramics such as bathroom furniture and tiles to the centres.
However, the fees were withdrawn from Saturday, 6 May following the county elections and a change of administration last week which saw the Conservative group take control of the authority by gaining 19 seats from Labour, which had previously been the majority party.
Commenting on the move, cabinet member designate for highways, transport and infrastructure, Councillor Simon Spencer, said: “Residents across the county can take all their waste to our nine recycling centres for free once again.
“Reversing charges at recycling centres is straight-forward common sense. It’s the service Derbyshire tax-payers expect and it’s the right thing to do to protect our countryside and local communities.
“But abolishing the charges is just the start. We’ll be working with district and borough councils across the county to rid Derbyshire of the fly-tipping that blights our communities even further.”
The move comes after the government revealed in its Litter Strategy for England, published last month (see letsrecycle.com story), that it would be reviewing guidance around charging for services at HWRCs, which it claimed ‘can make disposing of waste more difficult’.
Legislation passed by government in March 2015 – the Local Authorities (Prohibition of Charging Residents to Deposit Household Waste) Order – prohibits councils from charging residents for the use of household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) either at the point of entry, exit or disposal.
But a number of councils have sought to introduce charges for the use of HWRCs for what is considered ‘non household’ waste streams, in particular DIY waste from home renovations.
West Sussex council, which had introduced a charge for materials including hard-core, plasterboard and tyres in October, suspended its charge last month, following the announcement of the review (see letsrecycle.com story).