Impact of Norfolk DIY waste recycling charges set to be reviewed
Fears of increased flytipping following the introduction of charges for disposing of DIY waste at Norfolk’s recycling centres will be reviewed this autumn, council chiefs say.
The move comes amid growing pressure for the policy to be reversed, with two separate motions against it set to be debated next week, and claims communities are already being blighted.
Under rules which came into force in April, residents now have to pay £3 for each item of rubble or timber they want to dispose of at any of the county’s 20 recycling centres, or £5 for non-recyclable materials.
Items including tyres, flat glass and plasterboard can also be taken to the Lynn centre at Saddlebow and recycled for a higher charge.
But more than 6,000 people have now signed an online petition against the measures.
And, over the weekend, reader Martin Skipper contacted the Lynn News with pictures showing waste that had been dumped along Lodge Lane, between Knights Hill and Castle Rising.
He said he had expected to see more flytipping following the introduction of the charges.
He added: “This beautifully quiet single track lane has several places where rubbish has been dumped. It wasn’t like this earlier in the year.”
But Norfolk County Council officials say any initial rise in flytipping was not related to the charges.
However, in a report published ahead of West Norfolk Council’s meeting this Thursday, environment portfolio holder Ian Devereux said the county council had agreed to look at the issue in September, as part of a broader review of the policy.
He added: “As reported in Council, the only available fly-tipping evidential comparison so far, is between April 2017 with 152 events and April 2018 with 173.
“We will need several months’ evidence to confirm the significance of any trend.”
Meanwhile, two motions have been tabled on the issue to Norfolk County Council’s meeting next Monday.
One, by Labour’s Terry Jermy, calls for the charges to be suspended while a review is undertaken.
But the other, submitted by Liberal Democrat Tim East, calls for the charges to be scrapped altogether.
He argues that the county is unlikely to make the savings it expects to and will end up passing more costs to district authorities because of the need to clear up more flytipping.
He added: “ In any good organisation this would be seen as a poor decision and be quickly changed.”
The authority has said that any decisions have to be made they will be taken in response to evidence.