Calls for controversial Hartlepool recycling charges to be scrapped

Traffic waiting to enter the Household Waste Recycling centre Burn Road, Hartlepool.
Traffic waiting to enter the Household Waste Recycling centre Burn Road, Hartlepool.

Calls have been made for new charges to get rid of certain types of waste at Hartlepool recycling centre to be scrapped.

The call by Councillor David Riddle comes after recent Government statements that councils should not charge householders from disposing of DIY household waste at rubbish dumps.

Hartlepool Borough Council introduced new charges on April 1 at the Burn Road site on waste it says is not typically generated in the home including soil, plasterboard, rubble and ceramics including bathroom suites.

Coun Riddle has questioned the legality of the charges. A new Government Litter Strategy for England announced this week includes measures to stop councils charging householders to dispose of DIY household waste at civic tips.

Coun Riddle, of Putting Hartlepool First, said: “It’s been made very clear by the Government that it believes such charges increase fly-tipping and guidelines introduced in March 2015 which prohibit charging were intended to include precisely the kind of household waste for which the council has recently introduced new charges.

“I have now written to Councillor Marjorie James, Chair of the Neighbourhood Services Committee, asking when she will be announcing that these charges have been scrapped and what arrangements she will be making to reimburse people for any charges already applied.

“The Government are now saying exactly what myself and other councillors pointed out to Coun James. Charges like this encourage fly-tipping.”

But Hartlepool council said it is confident the charges comply with Government legislation and does not plan to withdraw them.

A council spokesman said: “The ongoing significant cuts in Government grant are forcing the Council to introduce charges or increase charges across a number of local services.

“We are confident that the recent charges introduced at our recycling centre fully comply with Government legislation.

“This enables councils to levy a charge for waste that isn’t typically generated in the home on a day-to-day basis such as soil, hardcore, rubble, ceramics (including bathroom suites), plasterboard and tyres.

“We are aware of recent statements issued by the Government which, in our view, contradict the current legislation.

“However, until such time that the legislation is changed, we will continue to charge for materials deemed not to be everyday household waste.”

The council said it is not obliged to take waste not normally produced in the home at recycling centres.