East Sussex County Council has decided to reduce its waste and recycling budget by £720,000 and they are now consulting on their plans for achieving this saving.
There are two main ways in which this might affect us. Firstly, the opening hours of the recycling sites. Currently the “Mountfield dump” (as it is known in our household, its official title actually being “The Mountfield Household Waste Recycling Centre”) is open 7 days a week, including most Bank Holidays – in fact it is closed only on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (fair enough, in my opinion: it is only polite to wait until the day after Boxing Day to get rid of all those unwanted Christmas presents). It is proposed to reduce the opening hours (“to better suit demand”) and, secondly it is proposed to charge for certain types of waste, such as rubble, asbestos, plasterboard, tyres and soil. . ESCC say that they do not think that introducing charges for certain types of waste will lead to an increase in fly-tipping – or not much at any rate – but you may disagree.
Fly-tipping on a road or a verge will be cleaned up by the council, but if someone fly-tips anywhere on private land, then it is up to the landowner to clear it up, at their own expense. Therefore (I suspect) most fly-tipping events never come to the attention of the council and thus their assertion (that charging does not cause an increase in fly-tipping) may be based on poor evidence. A more general point is that we should encourage recycling as much as possible, and charging “sends the wrong signal.” Having said that, they will be taking £720,000 off the budget; the consultation is about how to do it, not whether.
The consultation runs until 15th May 2018, and can be accessed at https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/environment/rubbishandrecycling/wasteconsultation/