WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH! Councils to charge up to £10 to take DIY waste
A £10 fee to get rid of DIY rubbish will encourage fly-tipping, antilitter campaigners fear.
From October residents in Oxfordshire will face a range of charges – from £1.50 to dump a bag of soil to a tenner for a sheet of plasterboard.
Councils already charge between £1 and £4 to use official tips in Lancashire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Somerset, Dorset and Cornwall. Anti-litter campaigners and farmers believe fees are likely to increase fly-tipping across the country.
Ministers have announced bigger fines for fly-tippers and advised local councils not to charge people recycling.
But cash-strapped town halls have warned community recycling centres may be forced to cut their opening hours or even close if they don’t make residents pay.
National Farmers’ Union chairman for Oxfordshire Jeff Powell said: “Farmers have already seen an increase in flytipping over the past five years and this is bound to make the situation worse.” Keep Britain Tidy said tackling fly-tipping cost nearly £50million last year. Its chief executive Allison OgdenNewton said the Government should give councils some of the £1billion a year it collected in landfill tax to help improve local recycling services. She said: “Fly- tipping has reached epidemic proportions. To tackle this problem we think everyone should have access to local, free and easily accessible recycling facilities.” Ministers have claimed councils charging DIY enthusiasts for using tips are behind much of the rise in fly-tipping. But councils say getting rid of “construction waste” is more expensive than house rubbish.
Fly-tippers face up to £400 on-the-spot fines but only a handful of councils are bothering to issue the penalties.
The Local Government Association, which represents councils, denies charges are contributing to fly-tipping.
Martin Tett, the LGA’s environment spokesman, said councils face a £5.8billion funding shortfall within three years.
He added: “Some councils have introduced charges to reflect growing costs and this money goes back into maintaining services.”
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