Consultation into charging for non-household waste

A consultation has been launched on a proposal to charge for non-household waste at the Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRC).

Kent County Council is not obligated to accept non-household waste at its sites, such as soil, rubble, hardcore and plasterboard.

KCC operates 18 HWRCs, providing facilities for the recycling and disposal of more than 30 different types of waste.

Each year Kent’s sites receive approximately 185,000 tonnes of waste and 3.5 million visits, at a cost of approximately £10 million to the taxpayer.

KCC already charges for car and motorbike tyres which are also categorised as non-household waste.

KCC cabinet member for waste Mike Whiting said: “We’re proud to have made significant progress in our environmental performance over the last 10 years.

“More than 99% of Kent’s household waste is recycled or recovered to produce energy, with less than 1% sent to landfill.

Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste Mike Whiting

“However, we need to reduce our annual waste and recycling budget further, while providing residents with an accessible HWRC service.

“At a time when other local authorities are closing their sites down, reducing opening hours or not accepting certain waste, KCC is looking at ways to make the system more efficient to allow it to continue to offer the best possible service.

“KCC has no statutory requirement to accept non-household waste, however, we appreciate from time to time residents may need to dispose of these materials.

“KCC would like to continue to offer a service and proposes a modest charge to off-set the cost. Before any decisions are made, we would like to hear your views”.

There are several factors that place pressure on the HWRC service, including the use of facilities by non-Kent residents.

Many councils already charge for non-household waste. Some of these are Kent’s neighbouring authorities such as Surrey and Bromley. East Sussex County Council has also recently taken the decision to charge for non-household waste and to close several of its HWRCs close to the Kent border from late 2018.

Evidence has found that many people come to Kent to dispose of their waste as it costs nothing, for example in Sevenoaks alone, 17% of customers at Dunbrik and 10% of customers at Swanley HWRCs do not live in Kent.

There is no significant evidence to link policies, such as charging for non-household waste at HWRCs, with increased fly-tipping.
 
In a National Association of Waste Disposal Officers survey of local authorities in June, of those that had introduced charges for non-household waste, regarding the impact on fly-tipping:
• 12 authorities said they have seen no impact, or a minimal one.
• 4 authorities said they have seen an increase, but only in line with national trends.
 
Neighbouring authorities who have introduced charges for non-household waste, such as Surrey have not seen evidence of an increase in fly-tipping as a result.

Kent’s population is set to increase by approximately 400,000 in just over a decade, putting further pressure on the HWRC service.

The anticipated costs would be:

  • Soil, rubble and hardcore £4 per bag
  • Plasterboard £6 per bag

The consultation launches on September 6 and runs until November 1.

You can complete the online questionnaire at www.kent.gov.uk/wasteconsultation

Consultation into charging for non-household waste was last modified: September 6th, 2018 by Thom Morris