‘Back door’ tax claim over new waste tipping charges

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A new permit system for residents disposing of construction and demolition waste has led to fears of increased fly tipping and claims of a back door tax.

Lancashire County Council will introduce the permit system on Monday to limit how much construction and demolition waste people can dispose of for free at Household Waste Recycling Centres, with charges being applied for any extra.

The waste we’re talking about is not produced on a regular basis. It is produced during occasional or one-off jobs, such as knocking down a wall or other renovation work

John Birch, contracts and partnerships manager, Lancs County Council

The county council says the new policy has been introduced due to “unprecedented central government funding cuts” and will help reduce the estimated £750,000 annual cost of dealing with inert waste such as soil, rubble, ceramics such as toilets and sinks, and plasterboard.

But Peter Crompton, of Barnoldswick, has branded it a “back door council tax” and restrictive as it would mean you could no longer do a favour for a disabled or elderly neighbour without eating into your own quota.

He added: “I’m sure it is expensive for Lancashire County Council to dispose of this kind of waste.

“But this is no way to solve the problem and is going to result in increased fly tipping which is already a severe problem.”

Residents can apply for a free permit allowing them to dispose of up to 10 60cm x 90cm 25kg bags or equivalent item of construction and demolition waste a year without charge.

A charge of £3.50 per 25kg bag or equivalent item by card only will be applied for any further waste, or for any waste delivered without a permit.

People with loose inert waste in trailers face steeper charges of £17.50, £35 or £52.50 for trailers up to one metre, two metres or three metres in length respectively.

John Birch, contracts and partnerships manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “The new policy allows residents to deliver the equivalent of a quarter of a tonne of this type of waste free of charge every year, which should be more than enough for the average household doing DIY work.

“The waste we’re talking about is not produced on a regular basis. It is produced during occasional or one-off jobs, such as knocking down a wall or other renovation work.

“We haven’t been contacted by this resident about his neighbour, but we’d be very happy to talk to him about this particular case.”

You can find out more or apply for a permit at www.lancashire.gov.uk/waste or by calling 0300 123 6871.

Are the new charges reasonable or do you think they’re going to lead to more fly-tipping?