By Local Democracy Reporter Ciaran Duggan
Non-household waste charges recently introduced by Kent County Council have not led to an increase in fly-tipping, a cabinet member claims.
Kent residents have been paying for the disposal of soil (£4), rubber (£4), hardcore (£4) and plasterboard (£6) at Kent’s 18 household recycling waste centres (HWRCs) over the last five months, since June 3.
Council bosses say the charges cover the cost of managing the treatment of the materials, but concerns were raised by opposition members that more rubbish would be dumped on Kent’s streets.
KCC’s new cabinet member for environment, Cllr Susan Carey (Con) said this week: “A small charge for dealing with soil, rubber and plastic board has not turned Kent’s residents into criminals.
“But criminals are still dumping rubbish into our countryside.”
Her comments came during the second cabinet meeting chaired by KCC’s new council leader Roger Gough (Con) at Maidstone County Hall on Monday (December 2).
Cllr Carey said the new scheme is working and there has been a 45 per cent increase in the number of requested skip permits.
She added: “I know that a lot of people were concerned that a lot of the waste would end up on Kent’s roads and in its fields and beautiful countryside.
“It’s early days, but, so far the levels of fly-tipping across Kent remain broadly the same.”
Around £250,000 has also been invested into a multi-agency fly tipping enforcement plan to reduce levels across the county.
Kent Police, KCC and district and borough councils continue to work as a team to crackdown on environment crime and raise awareness.
A total of 41 fly-ttipping suspects were targeted by the authorities in Maidstone, Dover, Sevenoaks, Swale and Thanet between July and October this year, with 40 vehicles stopped and four fixed penalty notices issued.
But, Cllr Gough says KCC needs to strengthen its fly-tipping pledge and be open with the public about the number of reported incidents.
KCC’s leader added: “We have quite a job to do in terms of taking the public with us on this, a lot of people do have their doubts.
“We have sought to respond to that through this fly-tipping initiative, which we need to continue and if anything enhance.
“I think constant reporting in this area and being transparent about it is really important in terms of sustaining public confidence.”
Opposition members raised concerns over the lack of deterrents across the county seven days ago (No 29) during KCC’s environment and transport committee meeting in Maidstone.
Cllr Rob Bird (Lib Dem), KCC’s main opposition leader, said: “We all have different views on how the criminal justice should work but there clearly are not very many deterrents in Kent.”
His colleague, Cllr Ian Chittenden (Lib Dem), added: “We are still fighting the traditional problem.”.
In the 12 months up to May 2019 Thanet council teams cleared up 100 tonnes of fly-tipped rubbish, issued 69 fines for £400 and proecuted 25 people for flytipping; another 67 prosecutions were made against those who failed to pay fixed penalty fines; 190 enforcement notices were handed out for waste and pest damage; 772 environmental protection notices were served; 60 trade waste notices given out and 107 community protection warnings plus 20 community protection fines of £100 were served.
So, shouldn’t there be some recourse, for the people, who take there items that are recycled, to these recycling centres ie, oil, garden vegetation, cardboard, paper, bottles, etc, all which the council make money on, get given a receipt, so they can take soil, rubble etc, and deposit it free of charge.
When the council tax goes down I will happily pay to get rid of waste……… until then I will pay any person who offers to take it away and dump it in the country lanes so then it costs the council money to get it removed!!!! Clowns
They honestly believe their own shit?
It’s certainly got worse in Thanet with fly-tipping going on on street corners and next to community bins. Much of it is old furniture, mattresses and household items, some of it dumped outside by absent landlords getting uncredited/unscrupulous men with vans to get rid of it after evicting tenants who are then made homeless. Cliftonville is rife with this. Even m
en with vehicles with foreign number plates are often involved in this fly-tipping.
It would be better for the environment if the rubbish could be taken straight to recycling centres without charges and would save a lot of daily clearing up by local councils.
Most of cliftonvilles residents have never bothered going to the tip, why bother when you can just chuck it in the street, there were ( maybe still are) several eastern european outfits doing house clearances and rubbish removal, the bins at the bottom of athelstan road are a favourite dumping point. The ones in edgar road a close second.
Tenants have an amazing ability to discard what they don’t want when they leave a property. About 10 years ago cliftonville had an additional 180k a year spent on it clearing dumped rubbish / refuse over and above the scheduled collections.
When statements of this sort are made, it helps if it came with some evidence.
It should be born in mind that:
1. These charges are only recent.
2. A 45% increase in skip permits might be due to any number of factors, such increased activity, or part of a trend etc.
3.The evidence that fly tipping is not on the increase is based on what?
4.The charges were meant to deter inter-county use of house waste sites, not as an anti fly-tipping strategy.
5.It is highly likely that the waste is resulting in increased refuse vehicle tonnages, as soil and building waste is slipped into the household waste collection, so the Districts are really the ones paying for charges.
As it is these charges merely annoy and raise more ire than cash.
Cllr Carey should be careful in what she says and rely on evidence and not fake news. Shouting that you believe in fairies does not actually mean there are fairies.
Tdc offer a very good service for removing bulky waste. For £25.50 they will take six large items. There is no excuse for fly tipping or using clearly dodgy contractors.
A drive along the thanet way, abandoned caravan , car on bricks , discarded childrens toys, old mattress, dumped tyres and general waste, not bad for a casual look on a journey.