Essex Council claims fly-tipping rise unrelated to recycling ban

PUBLISHED: 15:43 17 March 2017

A recycling centre

A recycling centre

Archant

After imposing controversial restrictions to clamp down on vans using recycling centres in October, Essex County Council (ECC) claims an increase in commercial fly-tipping is unrelated.

From October 31, 2016, County Hall imposed a complete ban on vans or trailers accessing smaller sites and rigorous restrictions on the amount of DIY and construction waste which can be disposed of at larger sites.

The move was in response to a 50% rise in DIY and construction waste at centres, costing the council “hundreds and thousands of pounds”.

At the time, Green county councillor James Abbott described the new rules as “discriminatory”, saying they penalised households who are keen on recycling or residents whose sole vehicle is a van, and would ultimately lead to a rise in fly-tipping.

Now the restrictions have reached their six month review, despite seeing an increase in commercial fly-tipping, ECC claims this is not as a result of the ban.

Cllr Simon Walsh, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste, said: “We found that there was no evidence to suggest that any such changes would prompt residents to break the law and dispose of their waste illegally, and since these changes came into effect last year, no local councils have reported any associated surge in fly-tipping.

“The only increase noted by some of our partners came in the form of larger fly-tips, which obviously come from vans, trucks and lorries, often on the back of the ease by which unlicensed operators can offer their services via social media.

“Local councils have taken a robust approach to investigating these incidents and I am pleased that successful prosecutions are now being delivered. We will continue to monitor the situation, as detailed in this report.”

Councillor Walsh had previously stated: “These operational changes will stop people unlawfully disposing of business and trade waste at recycling centres at the expense of the taxpayer, whilst still providing the facility for residents to dispose of their legitimate DIY waste when carrying out ad-hoc work at home themselves.”

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