Monday 24 June 2024
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Will charging residents for bulky waste collections in Nottingham cause fly-tipping?

Charging residents to take away their bulky waste will not lead to more fly tipping on the city streets, the leader of Nottingham City Council has said.

The Labour-run authority will be charging residents a £20 booking fee to take away waste that exceeds 25kg in weight or cannot fit into household waste bins.

It will be limited to a maximum of six items, with additional costs applying after that amount.

Residents in receipt of council tax support will get one or two free collections per year.

Cllr David Mellen (Lab) was challenged by a member of the public over the plans to introduce the charge at a full council meeting on Monday, March 7.

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The resident wrote in a question to the leader: “Have you considered that this will lead to more people dumping items on street corners?

“This is already a problem and will only get worse.

“Also only having one tip for the whole of Nottingham will not work if the amount of people bringing bulky waste increases.

“Do you think people can afford to pay for a collection or even hire a van to go to the tip in today’s current climate?”

Cllr Mellen responded: “Only a handful of councils across the UK offer free bulky waste collections. Until recently we offered this for free. Fly-tipping is a national problem.

“In the last two years there has been 21,179 fly tips reported to Nottingham City Council – many of which have been investigated to identify the perpetrator.

“Unfortunately, fly tipping is often a crime of stealth and despite investigations using the CCTV cameras or seeking information within the fly tip the number of cases brought to justice is relatively small.

“Evidence shows the lockdown triggered by the pandemic led to an increase in the level of consumption in households and big changes in the amount of waste being recycled.

“The increase in consumption was initially in purchasing items in bulk or panic buying and then by many citizens forced or choosing to stay at home for work and making online purchases.

“Consequently, more domestic waste was generated, and this trend continues today. This has put increased pressures on the waste collection system.”

He said there is “little reliable evidence” this will lead to an increase in fly tipping and one local authority who does not charge for bulky waste has the highest level of fly tipping in the country.

Cllr Andrew Rule, opposition leader of the Conservative Group, added: “It is not being lost on me that the Labour group has finally adopted our historic proposals on charging residents who require two or more bulky waste collections.

“While our proposals would have guaranteed every household one free collection a year, Labour proposals do not.

“When we proposed this we were derided and told it would turn the whole city into a fly tipping hotspot. Is the world such a different place now or is it just smoke and mirrors from Nottingham Labour? I suspect the latter.”

The decision to charge for bulky waste was approved by the council chamber.

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