Changes to waste recycling and removal services in Hartlepool have been praised by council bosses after saving £50,000.
In April 2017, Hartlepool Borough Council introduced charges for the disposal of certain non-household ‘DIY’ waste at the recycling site at Burn Road.
In April this year, waste services were improved further and the council started offering improved and extended standard and premium removal services.
The standard removal service is available to households only and offers collection of up to three bulky items for £20 and up to six for £40.
The premium service is open to households and businesses and any number of items can be collected and any type of waste considered.
Free no obligation quotes are available starting from £55, with weekend collections available.
A report to go before the council’s neighbourhood services committee next week has reviewed the changes so far and states they have had a positive impact.
The report from Tony Hanson, assistant director for environment and neighbourhood services, said: “Feedback from those using this new service has been very positive.
“The new premium waste service has proven to be extremely popular, with demand for this service increasing dramatically since April 2018 when it was officially launched.
“Many have stated that they prefer to pay for their waste to be removed by the council as they have the reassurance that the waste will be properly disposed of.
“By providing well priced, efficient services which meet the demand for waste removal, it is hoped that residents and businesses will continue to use the extended waste services.”
In 2017/18 a total of 60 bookings were made for the previous premium service, whereas in the 6 months from April to September 2018 since the updated service was launched, 122 bookings have been delivered.
The service is on track to achieve a four-fold increase in completed bookings.
The number of completed bookings for the standard removal service also rose 11% from the same period the previous year.
Bookings and payment procedures have also been improved and can now be done online.
The changes were made to help the council save £50,000 which has been achieved.
The initial changes first brought in charges of £3 to dispose up to 25kg of soil, ceramics and rubble, £7.20 for up to 25kg of asbestos and £6 for up to 25kg of plasterboard.
One of the concerns associated with the introduction of charges for the disposal of certain waste was that it may contribute to increased cases of fly tipping.
However a council review found ‘DIY’ wastes make up less than 0.01% of rubbish fly tipped and this has not risen.
The report said: “The ‘DIY’ type wastes make up only a small fraction of the waste that is fly tipped and this has not increased since the introduction of charges.
“The vast majority of the waste that is flytipped are bulky waste items (furniture, mattresses, fitted kitchens and wardrobes etc) and there is currently no charge for the disposal of these type of wastes at Burn Road Household Waste Receycling Centre.
“The back streets of terraced properties are the areas in which most incidents of the fly-tipping incidents occur.”
The report will be discussed at a meeting of the council neighbourhood services committee at 10am at the Civic Centre on Tuesday, November 13.
Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service