Rubbish row: Residents face 25 mile trip to dispose of waste for free

Watch: Report by ITV News Meridian reporter Mike Pearse

People living in north Hampshire have been told they will have to make longer trips to dump their rubbish for free.

The alternative is to continue using their nearest centre, just over the border in Berkshire, and incur a £7 fee per visit.

The decision comes after a financial agreement came to an end between Hampshire and West Berkshire councils.  

Adrian Foster-Fletcher lives in Newtown just south of Newbury and is a frequent visitor to his local tip less than a mile away. 

But the new rules mean there is now a charge each time to use it or a 25 mile round trip to use one in Basingstoke or Andover for free. 

Watch: Adrian Foster-Fletcher, Resident

The change has come into effect after an agreement that 5,000 Hampshire locals can use it has just ended as the County Council no longer want to pay £180,000 a year. 

So the new arrangement is to pay to visit the nearby tip or travel to the nearest ones, which are run by Hampshire County Council.

Plans for a new tip in the area to solve the problem are currently on hold because the council say they are unable to find a suitable site. 

It has left some residents furious, claiming it will add more cars and pollution to the roads and increase fly tipping. 

Adrian Foster-Fletcher says: "I'm being asked to pay twice. And people aren't happy about that. As a society we think about fairness. There will be a massive increase in fly tipping."

"Each fly tipping incident costs the council money to fix. So all the money collected from the tip will simply be spent on getting people back out into the lorries to pick up the stuff that people have dumped. It doesn't make any sense. It's a nonsense."

Some residents could face a 25 mile trip to dispose of their waste for free

Hampshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Lead Member for Economy, Transport and the Environment, Councillor Rob Humby told ITV News: 

“We know that some residents who live in the north of Hampshire would prefer to use the household waste and recycling centre in Newtown Road, Newbury in Berkshire and we have worked hard to explore a number of alternative options for ongoing provision in the area, now that the transitional arrangement with West Berkshire Council which enabled free use of the facility for north Hampshire residents has now come to an end, due to growing budget pressures."

"These options have included exploring the feasibility of possible alternative HWRC sites in the Kingsclere area but unfortunately, studies have concluded that the sites are not suitable for development."

“Hampshire residents will still be able to use West Berkshire’s household waste recycling centre at Newtown site and additionally at Padworth near Aldermaston, at their own cost, following the introduction of an entry fee by West Berkshire Council to non-Berkshire residents."

"To ensure there is minimal disruption to north Hampshire residents while West Berkshire’s new scheme is implemented, we are making a small financial contribution to help implement these new arrangements at the earliest opportunity.”