Norfolk fly-tipping campaign backed, but critics say 'horse already bolted' after DIY waste charges
PUBLISHED: 11:40 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:36 07 September 2018
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A campaign to combat fly-tipping in Norfolk has been backed by county councillors, but critics said it comes "after the horse had bolted."
In April, Conservative-controlled Norfolk County Council removed a concession which had allowed people to leave up to 80 litres of DIY waste at its recycling centres for no charge.
That means people now have to pay a number of charges, such as £3 for getting rid of a bag of rubble and item of timber, and £9 for plasterboard.
Non DIY household waste can still be disposed of for free.
The council said the move would save it £280,000 a year, but critics said it had led to an increase in fly-tipping.
The council says its own figures show fly-tipping increased by 7pc in April to June of this year, but had fallen by 13pc compared to that period two years ago.
It says the data around the effects of their DIY waste change and recent incidents of illegal dumping are limited, but is under close review.
But, with fly-tipping costing councils £1m a year, County Hall wants to join forces with district, borough and the city council for a campaign over fly-tipping, based on a model in Hertfordshire.
Officers said that saw a drop of 17.9pc in the number of incidents in the first year.
But Labour’s Terry Jermy, who represents Thetford West, said: “My fear is that the public will see it as the council shutting the door after the horse has bolted. We should have done this before the DIY waste charges case in, rather than after.
“Of course, we support it, but I wish this council had got its act together before and not after.”
Liberal Democrat Tim East, who represents Costessey, said: “This is nothing more than a sham. It’s an educational campaign and it’s all about platitudes and exhortations and does not address the issues.”
He said there were just six prosecutions in Norfolk for fly-tipping last year and an action plan was needed, along with lobbying of the government to change legislation to make prosecution simpler.
Joel Hull, head of waste at the council, said the first phase of the campaign was more educational, but the second phase would focus on issues such as lobbying for legislation change.
Andy Grant Conservative councillor for Lothingland, said Great Yarmouth Borough Council took a zero tolerance approach to littering and had carried out 17 prosecutions.
He said: “The message has to be that all fly-toppers are scum and they should all be prosecuted.”
The campaign will need to be backed by the Norfolk Waste Partnership, which has representatives from district, borough and the city council.
What are the charges?
Charges to dispose of DIY waste were introduced at Norfolk County Council’s 20 recycling centre in April.
People can still dispose of household waste for free.
But these are the charges for DIY-type waste (cost is per item/per 80 litre bag or equivalent:
Plasterboard and plaster - £9 (£15 at Mile Cross) Rubble £3 including: floor and wall tiles; sinks, toilets and ceramic shower trays; bricks, concrete and concrete posts; paving slabs and stones Timber £3 including: fitted kitchen units; fitted and built in furniture; doors, door frames and skirting; fence panels; wooden garden structures; decking, fencing, trellises, pergolas and arches Non-recyclable £5 including: insulation and roof felt; plastic guttering, drains and facia’ baths and shower trays; soil and turf; pond liners and garden membranes; doors, windows and frames Flat glass £5 - including windows and glass doors Metals - no charge.