Suez UK is to introduce an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system at all civic amenity sites in Greater Manchester, to clamp down on trade waste “abuse”.
The plans come under part of Suez’s £1 billion contract with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), which began in June 2019.
Some 20 sites across the region will operate the system next year, which will log and record vehicles entering the site and “link the registration number to a register of the delivered loads”.
Visitors are then ranked in a traffic light system, ranging from green for users that are not flagged for investigation, to red for those identified as traders or who have exceeded the thresholds.
Those identified will be directed elsewhere and all other sites will be alerted not to allow the vehicle to deposit.
Staff will also engage in meet and greets which will include random checks on entry. This will mean that the public won’t have to apply for permits.
Speaking to letsrecycle.com, a spokesperson for the council said: “The existing height barriers, set at two metres are designed to prevent traders entering the sites but despite this we are still receiving a considerable amount of trade waste.
“All traders must pay for the disposal of their waste. By using the HWRCs, they are adding to the cost of operating the sites. The access policy is designed to restrict traders from using the sites and provide an improved service for residents of Greater Manchester.”
In a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) last month, where the plans were outlined, it was explained that Lots 1 and 2 in the procurement stipulated that the successful contractor must have robust trade waste prevention measures in place.
“This is in response to the apparent levels of trade waste inputs being received across the HWRC network which is increasing tonnages received and pushing up costs.”
While the tonnages of the material are unknown because none of the facilities have weighbridges, the GMCA said that visual checks on small vans as well as existing ANPR systems indicate that there is “abuse occurring on a regular basis”.
Its estimated this equates to around 10% of the 300,000 tonnes a year of throughput across the network of sites.
The changes are set to be rolled out from February 2020.