West Sussex County Council has announced that it will suspend charging for the disposal of DIY waste at its 11 house waste and recycling centres (HWRCs), following the publication of the Government’s National Litter Strategy for England.
The Strategy aims to combat litter and fly-tipping in England, and sets out proposals, among which could see the most serious litterers hit with the £150 fines.
The strategy also calls for councils to stop charging householders for disposal of DIY household waste at civic amenity sites – legally, household waste is supposed to be free to dispose of at such sites, Defra says.
The issue of charging for the disposal of DIY waste at HWRCs has been a controversial subject among councils and residents alike.
Legislation passed by government in March 2015 prohibits councils from charging residents for the use of household waste recycling centres (HWRCs), either at the point of entry, exit or disposal.
“In order to avoid any potential confusion for our residents in West Sussex we have decided to suspend all charges for these type of materials with immediate effect until the review by the Government has been concluded.”
A number of councils, however, have introduced charges for DIY waste, claiming this is a “non household” waste stream.
On Monday, environment secretary Andre Leadsom said councils should end their “unfair” practice, which could be behind an increase in flytipping.
Charges of £4 per bag for soil, hardcore, DIY waste and plasterboard came into force in October but have now been suspended to “avoid confusion” until the government review is completed later this year.
Nathan Elvery, chief executive at West Sussex County Council, said: “Following the recent statement made by the Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that it is the Government’s intention to review its guidance with regard to the charges that can be made at local civic amenity sites and the specific reference to the disposal of DIY materials generated by householders.
“In order to avoid any potential confusion for our residents in West Sussex we have decided to suspend all charges for these type of materials with immediate effect until the review by the Government has been concluded.
“From today therefore householders visiting any West Sussex amenity site will no longer be charged for the deposit of material which results from the sort of work householders would normally carry out on their homes – what most people would refer to as DIY waste.
“Once the Government’s review has been concluded the County Council will look at the matter again.”