Councils ‘best placed’ to make waste decisions

Ending charges for disposing of DIY waste at household recycling centres will put unnecessary pressure on refuse departments and won’t improve services, the LGA warns.

The Government is consulting on proposals to prevent councils from charging residents for DIY rubbish and tyres, in part to help reduce fly-tipping. It is also looking at the impact of booking systems at centres.

Research last year from the waste charity WRAP showed no correlation between local authorities which charge for DIY waste disposal and the rate of fly-tipping in any given area, and the LGA has previously called for increased fines to deter fly-tippers.

Cllr David Renard, the LGA’s Environment Spokesperson, said councils were best placed to decide what works for their areas: “The disposal of non-household waste, such as DIY waste and tyres, is a non-statutory duty. As a result, some councils have had to introduce charges due to the rising costs of providing the service and the financial pressure they are under.

“Money raised from charges goes back into services so councils can continue to offer disposal facilities for these materials to residents who would otherwise find them difficult to get rid of, and will ensure that the system is not abused by those seeking to dispose of trade waste for free.

“Manufacturers can improve recycling rates and deter fly-tipping by providing more take-back services so people can hand in old furniture and mattresses when they buy new ones.”

During the pandemic, more councils introduced booking systems to ensure social distancing, and many have continued as it best suits the needs of their area, Cllr Renard noted.

He added: “Our own polling shows eight out of 10 people are happy with the way their local council collects their rubbish.”

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