Data Highlights Bulky Waste Collection Charge Disparity

Data collected by BBC News shows the disparity in local authority charges when it comes to bulky waste.

Local authorities have the power to set their own fees for bulky waste collections, should they choose to offer this service and charge for it. With increased cuts to council budgets, many councils have opted to charge households for these collections.

The BBC’s Shared Data Unit gathered and analysed figures from 391 councils across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and found prices around the UK vary from a few pounds for a single item to £44.

Householders in the south of England have to pay on average three times as much as those in the North East, the cheapest region for bulky waste.

Only 15 councils in England currently provide free bulky waste collections, the data revealed, while half of local authorities in Northern Ireland do not charge.

Waverley Council was found to charge the most, averaging at £44 per item, followed by Suffolk Coastal at £43 and Mole Valley at £40 per item.

The average charge for bulky waste collections in England is £11; in Wales the average is £6; Scotland is £6; and Northern Ireland is £2.

Waverley Council was found to charge the most, averaging at £44 per item, followed by Suffolk Coastal at £43 and Mole Valley at £40 per item.

Basildon charges average at just £2 per item, followed by Barking and Dagenham at £2.50 and Bradford at £3.

Waverley Borough Council said the charge was to ensure collections are not subsidised by council tax payers who do not use the service. The council said charges covered its costs and it encouraged residents to reuse or recycle items.

Mole Valley District Council said disposing of waste in a responsible way could not “be done cheaply”. It said the cost to the householder reflected the “quality and efficiency of our services” and it encouraged residents to contact charities to collect items for reuse.

The BBC’s analysis also found no connection between the areas with the highest charges for waste collection and the highest rates of fly-tipping, despite the fact that more than half of the almost one million fly-tipping incidents in England in 2017-18 involved white goods and large household items such as furniture.

The full data is available here.

The BBC News story can be found here.


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  1. So what readers? The only positive issue is that it has distracted the BBC from it’s mission to try to reverse Brexit for a wee while.

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