New charges to dispose of do-it-yourself rubbish at a recycling centre imposed by council chiefs have not led to more flytipping incidents, according to officials.
Hartlepool Borough Council faced a backlash from the public after introducing charges to get rid of waste not generally generated from homes at its Household Waste Recycling Centre in Burn Road.
There had been claims that people would be more likely to simply dump such rubbish in public instead of pay the new charges.
But a report to the Monday’s Neighbourhood Services Committee says that has not been the case.
A report of Tony Hanson, assistant director (Environment and Neighbourhoods), says: “One of the key concerns associated with the introduction of the charges was that it may directly contribute to increased cases of flytipping.
“In order to establish if there was any validity to this concern, a comprehensive monitoring programme was introduced.”
That included a weighbridge facility as part of the improvement works at a waste transfer site adjacent to the recycling centre which allowed the types and weight of waste materials that were being brought in to be accurately recorded.
A report adds: “The recorded incidences of flytipping have actually decreased following the introduction of the charges in April 2017.”
There were 363 incidents of flytipping between April and June this year compared to 525 the same period in 2016.
The charges are £3 for a bag weighing up to 25kg of soil, hardcore, ceramics, plate glass and rubble; £7.20 for a bag up to 25kg of asbestos; £6 for a bag of plasterboard and £3.20 per tyre.
The council says that it has saved over £11,000 in the cost of disposing non-household waste between April and June this year as people are said to be using other ways to get rid of it. Skip firms have reported an increase in business following the introduction of the charges.
The council is proposing to continue the current charging arrangements for a further six months.