Rubbish tips to charge for disposal of non-household waste

Charges are set to be introduced for non-household waste at rubbish tips
Charges are set to be introduced for non-household waste at rubbish tips

Charges for non-household waste and revised opening hours are set to be introduced at East Sussex’s rubbish tips.

From September visitors to the household waste recycling sites would have to pay to dispose of rubble, soil, plasterboard, asbestos and tyres.

The likely charge would be £4 per bag of material and £2 per tyre, with East Sussex County Council suggesting this would cover the cost of the scheme, with no income intended to be generated.

Opening hours at several sites would be changed, while Wadhurst and Forest Row’s tips would be closed at the end of September.

Recommendations are due to be discussed by the county council’s Cabinet on Tuesday (June 26).

Residents were consulted on proposals for the HWRSs with 3,385 questionnaires completed and returned.

Opening hours at sites in Lewes and Mountfield are set to be reduced to 9am-4pm.

Currently both are open 8am-5pm throughout the entire week from April to September, and 8am-4pm Monday to Saturday and 9am-4pm on Sundays the rest of the year.

Opening hours at weekends at locations in Eastbourne and Crowborough could be extended as they both currently close at lunchtime. This proposal would be cost-neutral as opening hours would be reduced during the week.

Contractor Veolia, which runs the sites on behalf of the county council, is set to submit planning applications, and the lead member for communities, economy and transport will consider changes to opening times once firm proposals have been agreed.

The consultation did not ask how residents felt about full day closures, but some respondents did suggest that this might be a way of securing further savings.

The county council says it has discussed this with Veolia as an alternative to shorter opening days as a way of delivering operational and financial efficiencies.

Changes to the Hailsham site are being considered.

This is because the town’s HWRS is a small site that cannot fully accommodate the full range of materials that residents are offered at other locations, resulting in a lower recycling rate and more materials sent to landfill.

The first option is to slightly enlarge and improve the existing site, while the second is to move the site to a yard opposite which may be more expensive but would be able to manage future demand.

Although the county council is set to agree to close sites at Wadhurst and Forest Row it left open the possibility for the sites to be taken over and run by community organisations.

Residents were asked if they were prepared to pay a small fee to enter sites, with 34 per cent saying this was either acceptable or completely acceptable, but 56 per cent felt it would be unacceptable or completely unacceptable. However, the Government prohibited such charges in 2015.

The council operates a permit scheme which allows charities to dispose of household waste at HWRSs free of charge.

The scheme is currently used by 102 charities including large furniture reuse organisations, charity shops, social care and education providers, independent schools, churches, meeting halls and environmental organisations.

Findings and options for a charity waste policy are set to be developed by the autumn.

During this process officers will be working with charities to better understand the sources of this waste and what the impact the introduction of any restrictions would have on their organisations.

The Conservative-led council agreed to reduce its waste budget by £558,000 in this financial year and a further £162,000 in 2019/20.

What do you think of the proposed changes? Send your views to copydesk.sussex@jpress.co.uk