Fly-tipping hasn’t grown after fee hike
A total of 140,000 fewer visits have been made to the county’s recycling centres since controversial fees were introduced a year ago.
Since April 1, 2018, visitors to the county’s tips have been faced with charges for items such as rubble, timber, plasterboard and sheets of glass.
Fears were expressed ahead of the move that it could increase fly-tipping across the county, with many anticipating a new-found reluctance to dispose of waste properly.
However, in the first six months of the new charges – from April 1 to September 30, 2018 – there were 5,448 reported incidents of fly-tipping across the county. In the same period of 2018 there were 8,757 reports.
The picture is muddied by a change in the way Great Yarmouth Borough Council now records fly-tipping but, even taking it out of the equation, there were 4,447 reports between April and September 2017 and 4,604 for this period in 2018.
While the long-term impact on fly-tipping remains to be seen, more than 140,000 fewer visits were made to tips in the first six months of the charges than in the equivalent six months of 2017.
Between April and September 2017, the recycling centres were visited 770,339 times.
In the first six months of the charges this figure was 624,471 – 145,868 fewer than the year before.
Consequently this also saw a fall in the amount of waste processed at the centres.
The 20 centres took in 32,544 tonnes of waste in the first six months of the charges – an 18pc drop from the 45,280 tonnes taken between April and September 2017.
A spokesman for Norfolk Waste Partnership said: “So far in 2018/19, we have seen no increase in the fly-tipping of DIY waste, following the introduction of the charges in April 2018.
“As more than 80pc of fly-tips are items which could have been taken to a recycling centre for free, we’d urge everyone to have a look at what they can take along to their local recycling centre and to carry out a few simple checks before giving their waste to anyone to dispose of.”
At the end of January, Norfolk County Council – along with the county’s seven districts and numerous other agencies such as the police – launched the SCRAP campaign to encourage people to correctly dispose of their waste.
James Wilson, chairman of the Norfolk Waste Enforcement Group, said: “Any fly-tipping that contains evidence of where it has come from will be investigated by the local council and those found to be fly-tipping will be prosecuted.
“The campaign reminds householders and businesses that their waste is their responsibility and they could be held responsible if it is found fly-tipped and they haven’t undertaken the right checks by following the SCRAP code.”