Couple got 50pc discount on DIY waste charge - so are tip fees consistent?
PUBLISHED: 08:05 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:31 20 August 2018
Copyright: Archant 2018
A couple who were given a half price discount on dump charges have questioned the consistency of controversial DIY waste fees.
Stephen and Diane Burchell, from Taverham, were initially asked to pay £12 for dumping four lots of wood at Mile Cross recycling centre in July.
But after getting into a row over the cost of the charges, the worker at the dump cut the price to £6.
Charges to dump DIY waste have proved controversial since being introduced by Norfolk County Council in April this year.
Evidence uncovered by this newspaper showed there had been a rise in fly-tipping and a huge drop in people using dumps since the charges came in – even though people can still leave household waste for free.
It led to a political row with Conservative councillors defeating motions by the opposition in July to reverse the charges.
In another case in June customers were locked in the recycling centre at Hempton near Fakenham when a man refused to pay £3 to dump a bamboo blind.
People dumping rubble or timber are have to pay £3 per item.
On July 13 Mr Burchell, 58, took four items of chipboard to the Mile Cross tip.
The barber was asked to pay £12 but refused, stating it was too much money.
“I said ‘where do you get that price from? I’m not paying that’ and it got a bit heated,” Mr Burchell said.
“My missus got out the car and said ‘what is the problem?’ He then said £6.”
Mrs Burchell said: “My husband wasn’t impressed with the amount and the conversation between the two men got a little heated.
“I told them both to calm down and the employee said to me ‘because you are a nice lady it will now be £6’.
“Within 30 seconds and with my appearance we got it half the price. Is this right? Should there not be set fees?”
Mr Burchell phoned the council to query whether the charge can be changed.
“The woman I spoke to just said there is nothing we can do, the price is set by the tip,” he said.
A council spokesman said: “Our prices are clear and consistent across all recycling centres in Norfolk and our staff are experienced at making decisions on a case-by-case basis, according to our guidelines.”
A breakdown of the charges can be found here