Call to dump DIY waste charge amid record fly tipping in part of Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 09:22 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:55 13 February 2020
It's time for charges to dispose of DIY waste at Norfolk's recycling centres to be dumped, a council leader has said.
It comes as incidents of fly tipping continue to rise in some parts of the county - with north Norfolk recording its highest level in seven years.
Sarah Bütikofer, North Norfolk District Council leader and county councillor for the Holt division, said dumping the charges would take away one of the main reasons people were fly tipping.
Mrs Bütikofer said: "I appreciate why the county council has done it, because councils have been strapped for cash across the country by central government, but it's another of these policies that has not so hidden implications and knock-on effects.
"I think it's time for them to rethink, particularly if they're serious about what they say about climate change and helping the environment."
The total number of fly tipping incidents in north Norfolk since April 1 last year stands at 450, and was 569 from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019.
It has increased every year since 2012/13, when the figure for the same period was 337. But other parts of Norfolk have not seen the same rise, with some districts recording falls in fly tipping over the same time frame.
Joel Hull, Norfolk County Council's head of waste, said the DIY charges at recycling centres had not led to the sharp increase in fly tipping that many feared, and had led to savings being made.
Mr Hull said: "We take the issue of fly tipping very seriously, which is why in 2019 all the Norfolk local authorities working together with the police and the Environment Agency launched the Scrap campaign.
"Sadly we know that most of the items that are fly tipped would be accepted for free from householders at recycling centres - for example items like sofas, fridges, green waste and electrical items like TVs are all accepted from householders for free."
But Mrs Bütikofer said she had heard of a "completely ridiculous situation" in which a woman took a table with a glass top to a recycling centre, and was told she would have to pay to leave it - but if she took it away and broke the glass, she could avoid the charge.
She said she had noticed more refuse being dumped around Pretty Corner near Sheringham Recycling Centre. Mrs Bütikofer said: "When they realise they have to pay, they drive down the road, wait five minutes and dump it."
-To find out more about the county council's campaign against fly tipping, visit www.norfolkrecycles.com/scrapflytipping