Hampshire County Council has responded to media reports of the Government’s announcement on tackling fly-tipping and charging for non-household waste at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs.)
Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said: “The Government’s intention to crack down on fly tipping is welcome news. In Hampshire, we have been working on a fly tipping strategy with all the partner organisations with a responsibility for dealing with this blight on the landscape. Our focus has been on promoting a partnership approach between the relevant agencies to ensure that those committing this environmental crime are vigorously pursued whilst we also work to improve householders’ understanding of their own responsibilities when employing a waste carrier, and making it easier for people to report incidences more easily and greater enforcement of the law.
“The problem of fly-tipping, as the Government acknowledges, is largely rogue traders making a living out of criminal activity. Small charges to cover the costs of disposing of certain items is unlikely to deter rogue traders anyway, but increasing the costs of operating the HWRCs by telling councils to make Council Tax payers subsidise the cost of handling demolition and construction waste is a serious threat to our ability to maintain the service.
“In Hampshire, we have made it even easier for small businesses, by opening up the HWRCs on a chargeable basis for them to use. We have one of the largest HWRC networks in the country, providing a legal and convenient route for people to dispose of their waste. Our principle ambition is to find a financially sustainable way forward for Hampshire County Council’s HWRC network. After years of reductions in Government funding for council services, and growing pressures on unfunded social care for adults and vulnerable children, we have had to find ways to keep services running with reduced resources, in the fairest way we can. Charging for non-household waste such as asbestos, rubble and plasterboard, means we can cover the costs of disposing these expensive materials while still providing a safe, convenient and legal means to dispose of them.
“We are acting within the law when charging for non-household waste at centres designed to take household waste under current legislation. The Government has not defined what they would consider to be ‘DIY waste’.
“We believe it is time to establish a more sensible way forward for financing public services, in light of the funding pressures we face. A blend of charges and tax revenues to support services locally could be used to both make savings and improve, rather than reduce services; and I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss these ideas with the Minister from the Department for Communications and Local Government and Cllr Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, yesterday.”