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  1. ITV Report

Grot Spot Britain: Rubbish disposal fees could be spurring fly-tipping, say residents

Rubbish disposal fees charged by council dumps could be spurring on Britain's fly-tipping problem, according to those living in effected areas.

In Manchester, where it is a particular problem, there have been calls to remove costs and restrictions from council dumps amid claims people aren't using official waste disposal sites "because they don't think they should be charged for removal of their waste".

Leonie Painter, from Manchester, told ITV News: "Fly-tipping's increasing daily. The council want people to use tips but they're not doing it because they don't think they should be charged."

Mattresses and boxes are among items that are regularly fly-tipped Credit: ITV News
Illegal waste is becoming a problem evident everywhere from quiet country lanes to busy city centre streets Credit: ITV News

Another issue for those wanting to get rid of rubbish is that there are huge differences in the fees councils charge for disposing of rubbish in council dumps.

Examples of fee differences include:

  • Soil costs £4 to dump in West Sussex compared to £1.50 in Dorset
  • Tyres cost £5 to dump in Surrey compared to £3.20 in Cornwall
  • Rubble costs £4.70 to dump in Norfolk compared to £2 in Northumberland

Speaking on behalf of local authorities the Local Government Association (LGA) explained the fees, saying "councils want to work with households so that they can dispose of reasonable household waste easily and cost-effectively" but they are experiencing "funding pressures".

The LGA said: “Councils already provide a range of bulky waste collection services, which are often free and picked-up from people’s doorsteps.

"There is therefore no excuse for fly-tipping which is criminal, anti-social behaviour that can affect everyone in streets and communities.

"While councils will do everything they can not to introduce recycling centre charges, they have experienced a 40% reduction to their core funding in the last Parliament and continue to experience funding pressures.

"However, when items which are clearly inappropriate are taken to household recycling centres - for example excessive amounts of DIY waste such as rubble - they may charge for a limited range of materials to avoid abuse of facilities intended for use by households, and to offset the high cost of disposing of items that would otherwise fall to council tax payers.”