12 April 2017 by Will Date

West Sussex council suspends HWRC charge

West Sussex county council has suspended charges for the deposit of some ‘non-household’ waste items at its 11 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs).

The move came after the government pledged to review guidance around charges at CA sites.

Horsham

The Horsham HWRC is one of 11 CA sites across West Sussex

The south coast local authority introduced a charging regime for a number of items, including soil, hard-core, plasterboard and tyres in October, in a bid to cut the cost of its services. Non-household waste items were charged at £4 per bag or item for disposal at the sites under the charging regime.

But, on Monday (10 April) the government revealed in its Litter Strategy for England that it would be reviewing guidance around charging for services at HWRCs, which it claimed ‘can make disposing of waste more difficult’ (see letsrecycle.com story).

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.

Charge

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.

Following the government’s comments in the strategy on Monday, West Sussex council, which has civic amenity sites at Bognor Regis, Billinghurst, Burgess Hill, Crawley, Horsham, East Grinstead, Littlehampton, Midhurst, Shoreham, Westhampnett and Worthing, has opted to suspend the imposition of charges at the sites which are operated by Viridor.

Charges for DIY waste will be among the topics discussed at the National Civic Amenity Site Conference 2017, organised by letsrecycle.com. Click here to find out more about the conference, which takes place on 14 June at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Coventry.

In a statement yesterday afternoon (11 April), Nathan Elvery, the council’s chief executive, said: “Following the recent statement made by the Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that it is the government’s intention to review its guidance with regard to the charges that can be made at local civic amenity sites and the specific reference to the disposal of DIY materials generated by householders.

“In order to avoid any potential confusion for our residents in West Sussex we have decided to suspend all charges for these type of materials with immediate effect until the review by the government has been concluded.

“In order to avoid any potential confusion for our residents in West Sussex we have decided to suspend all charges for these type of materials with immediate effect until the review by the government has been concluded.”


Nathan Elvery
West Sussex council

“From today therefore householders visiting any West Sussex amenity site will no longer be charged for the deposit of material which results from the sort of work householders would normally carry out on their homes – what most people would refer to as DIY waste.”

Guidance

The council has pledged to review the matter once the government has concluded its review of existing guidance.

At present, councils have been pointed towards WRAP’s HWRC Guide, last updated in January 2016 which suggests that DIY waste is classed as household waste: “…if it results from work a householder would normally carry out.”

However, comments from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in recent months have indicated that the Department does see DIY waste from households as a type of household waste – putting it at odds with some local authorities (see letsrecycle.com story).

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