'No U-turn on recycling centre charges' - councillor
New waste disposal charges at Norfolk’s recycling centres will not be scrapped, despite the launch of a campaign to reverse them, a councillor has warned.
Thousands have signed an online petition against charges for the disposal of DIY waste, introduced by Norfolk County Council last month, which critics fear will increase flytipping.
And the authority has even faced claims from MP Norman Lamb that the system may be illegal.
But Ed Colman insisted there would not be a change of heart when he addressed the issue before Swaffham town councillors on Wednesday evening.
He said: “We have no plans to reverse the charges. From all our advice, there is no legal infringement.”
Under the new rules, 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 fee.
But the petition, set up via the campaigning website change.org, calls on the county council to reinstate the previous system, which imposed charges for commercial waste disposal.
More than 2,700 people had signed the petition as the Lynn News went to press yesterday.
One supporter said: “I’ve paid to dump my rubbish already. It’s called the council tax.”
And town councillor Robert Bartrum also backed a reversal, saying: “I don’t think you should be charging twice for the same thing.”
But Mr Colman said one of objectors’ main concerns about the charges, the perceived risk of an increase in flytipping, had so far been unfounded, based on monitoring work by council officials.
He said: “There is no increase in flytipping. I think it’s been overplayed.”