Households charged up to £12 to dump waste
PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 July 2011
Suffolk County Council
SUFFOLK residents face a postcode lottery over whether they are charged up to £12-a-time to dump their household waste.
Five household waste recycling centres could convert to pay-as-you-throw operations while one in Newmarket has already made the switch.
The half-a-dozen involved were all set to close over the coming months amid a drive by Suffolk County Council (SCC) to slash its waste budget by £2.3m.
Discussions are ongoing to bring pay-as-you-throw models in at Chelmondiston, Bramford, Brome, Beccles and Southwold, which could see householders charged between £3-12 depending on the size of their vehicles.
But SCC confirmed the 11 still under its control would remain free - opening up a postcode lottery for waste dumping charges.
John Windell, mayor of Southwold, said Graham Murray, who runs a scrap metal yard in the town, is hoping to take over the household waste site at the end of August.
Mr Windell said: “Some people say: ‘Why should we pay twice for the service?’ and others say they will just put more in their bins or have more bonfires.
“I do worry about fly-tipping because the road to the tip is not a highway. But we have been reassured by the county council that they have money aside for fly-tipping. But how long that money will last for, I just don’t know.”
Cllr John Field, Lib Dem spokesman for the environment, said his party had called on the council to save money by reducing site’s opening hours rather than shutting them down.
Referring to the pay-as-you-throw proposal, he added: “It’s very unfair and it punishes certain bits of the population.
“I think it will increase fly-tipping substantially.
“The perception of the county is that fly-tipping is done by small traders who dump the waste they can’t make money from.
“There’s a degree of truth in that but nevertheless fly-tipping is likely to increase.”
Councillor Lisa Chambers, portfolio holder for waste at SCC, said: “We are working very hard with community groups to find alternatives.
“This is not a place we wanted to find ourselves in.
“We’re hoping that a combination of Suffolk County Council’s free sites and locally-driven community sites will serve the community and people will have choice.”
Cllr Chambers added as a result of the waste site changes £35,000 had been invested in a fly-tipping response team.
She said: “The majority of Suffolk residents are responsible people who dispose of their waste responsibly.
“It’s a small minority of people that fly-tip and we need to make sure we prosecute them.”