Trade waste ‘abuse’ sees Flintshire tighten HWRC rules

Flintshire county council in North Wales has approved a raft of changes to its permit system for household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs) in an effort to clampdown on those disposing of commercial waste.

The Rockcliffe recycling site in Flintshire, one of five the council operates

The council manages five sites and says that, in line with environmental permits, it is not allowed to accept business/commercial waste.

To help prevent residents from bringing such waste, the council operates a permit system for larger vehicles such as small and medium vans, and completely prohibits other vehicles such as large vans, trailers and tipper vehicles.

However, after “abuse” of the system by some residents, the council has now moved to further tighten restrictions, in a move approved by its cabinet yesterday (18 January).

The changes are set to be introduced in April.

Measures

While the permit system still only applies to some vehicles, the conditions of them have tightened.

The council will now issue permits for one site only, which will be the closest site in proximity to the residents’ property.

And, for applicants who repeatedly do not provide the required documentation their application will be refused and they will not be eligible to re-apply for a period of six months.

A resident will be allowed one appeal should a vehicle permit be refused

One-off

The council will also be introducing a one-off permit for vehicles that do not conform to the vehicle eligibility criteria, such as for a vehicle registered to a business whose owners need to use their vehicle or trailer to dispose of larger, bulky items.

The permit can be issued if it is clearly demonstrated that the waste being disposed of is not related to the business or activity of the business to which the vehicle is registered or used.

To obtain a one-off permit, an application must be made in advance of the visit via the specified e-form on the council’s website so that an assessment can be made and a permit issued.

This permit can be issued twice in any 12-month period.

Temporary permits are also being rolled out for hire vehicles not registered in Flintshire. Those borrowing a vehicle will now need a letter from the owner giving permission to the applicant to use the vehicle to move their own domestic waste.

Any person bringing trade waste to site with or without a permit will now be reported to Natural Resources Wales.

Recycling

Representing a population of around 155,000, Flintshire county council’s household waste recycling rate was 63.98% in the 2020/21 financial year.

In September 2021, a number of recommendations were presented to cabinet on changes to be made to the current waste strategy in order for the council to achieve 70% recycling by 2025.

One such recommendation from the member workshops was to revisit the current HWRC vehicle permit scheme criteria.

The council said a permitting scheme was the “fairest” way to ensure that residents could use their own vehicles to visit the HWRC sites, whilst deterring unlawful use by traders and boosting recycling rates.

These new systems will help us to re-use, recycle and compost more

  • Glyn Banks, Flintshitre

Recycle

Flintshire’s cabinet member for Streetscene, Councillor Glyn Banks, said: “The council’s waste strategy is to re-use, recycle and compost as much recoverable waste as we can at our HRCs.

“These new systems will help us to do this as well as helping to streamline residents’ visits to HRC sites. We are proposing to introduce them from April 2022.”

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