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Household DIY Waste Charges - The Evidence

July 24, 2018 4:30 PM

Plasterboard waste

Despite claims to the contrary the evidence is available that the household DIY waste charges should be scrapped immediately as there is a clear indication that fly-tipping has increased as a consequence of the charges.

On the basis that the County Council will not meet its projected £280,000 savings target, the effect will be to shunt the clearing up costs onto the District Councils who are responsible for clearing up fly tipping incidents.

Here is the evidence:

1. Fly tipping Incidents

Figures from 6 district councils in Norfolk reveal fly tipping incidents increased in April 2018 (when the charges were introduced) by 24% from 930 incidents in April 2017 to 1,158 in April 2018.

Norwich City Council saw one of the biggest increases over that period, with 544 fly tipping incidents in April last year to 654 in April this year.

Area

April 2017

April 2018

Breckland

104

156

Broadland

43

51

Norwich

544

654

North Norfolk

31

51

South Norfolk

56

73

KL & West Norfolk

152

173

Great Yarmouth Borough Council's figures are not included due to a change in the way fly-tipping incidents are reported.

2. Visitors to Norfolk recycling centres

In April 2018 there were 35,866 fewer visitors to Norfolk recycling centres compared to April 2017 - a drop of 30%.

In May 2018, there were 107,875 people who visited the county's recycling sites compared to 122,210 in May 2017.

3. Waste Tonnage

In April 2018 the amount of waste dumped over the same period also fell by 30pc - almost 2,000 tonnes from 6,277 tonnes in April 2017 to 4,351 tonnes in April 2018.

In May 2018 there was 21% reduction in tonnage compared to last year.

4. Clean Up Costs

The cost of cleaning up fly tipping falls onto the District Councils not the County Council.

In 2016/17 the cost of cleaning up fly tipping incidents by the District Councils cost £948,500. That does not include the cost of cleaning up incidents on private land by private landowners.

Area

Incidents

Clean Up Costs

Breckland

1,255

£75,000

Broadland

407

£39,500

Great Yarmouth

6,588

£436,500

Norwich

3,643

£221,500

North Norfolk

412

£74,500

South Norfolk

689

£42,500

KL & West Norfolk

1,905

£59,000

5. Prosecutions

There were only 24 prosecutions for fly tipping in Norfolk last year out of 14,899 incidents that is only 0.2% of fly-tipping incidents resulted in a prosecution.

More than half of all fly-tipping reports in Norfolk from April 2017 to March this year were in Norwich. Yet Norwich City Council only issued one caution and two fixed penalty notices.

North Norfolk District Council secured three prosecutions resulting in more than £800 in fines! A further three warning letters and one caution were given out during that period.

King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council said it secured two prosecutions. It also issued a caution and two fixed penalty notices.

South Norfolk Council just one prosecution.

Broadland District Council also served one £200 fixed penalty notice last year.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council reported 6,407 incidents during that period, and secured 18 prosecutions.

Liberal Democrat View

We were surprised by the Tory attitude at the Council meeting that this problem had been caused by the media!

When you see charges introduced for household DIY waste and then suddenly the number of fly tipping incidents increase by more than 3 times the national average with a similar fall in the number of visitors and tonnage at recycling centre you surely start to ask why.

When we have heard from our residents of the problems that this proposal has caused them along with a petition signed by more than 6800 people and rising and the extraordinary story of a man being locked in a recycling centre http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/chris-feller-shut-in-recycling-centre-1-5563985 we know that the charges are all about raising money not about improving recycling.

Whilst we are disheartened by the Tories we will continue to press the case for the charges to be scrapped and you can help us by signing the public petition at https://www.change.org/p/norfolk-county-council-reverse-the-charges-at-recycling-centres-for-households and by sending us your photos of fly tipping caused by the introduction of these charges - https://norfolklibdemcountycouncillors.co.uk/en/article/2018/1266907/diy-household-waste-photos-please