local recycling centre bins

Charging Residents to Use Their Local Tip – Good or Bad?

14 July 2011

The recent decision by some Somerset councils to charge residents to use their local tip has been met with wide criticism – but here’s a contrarian view. Shouldn’t people who create lots of rubbish contribute a bit more to the costs of disposing of it? Businesses do – so why shouldn’t residents? Why should council tax be used to subsidise something only a small proportion of the population use?

It’s not as if the charges proposed are very high at £2 per visit but at least it’s something. Most councils already charge for bulky waste collection, so what’s so bad about charging residents to use the tip too?

Over and above the economic benefits, charging at the dump should also encourage people to think twice before binning something that might be reused – which must be a good thing. Also, I think tip charges could actually reduce not increase flytipping by raising awareness of the real costs associated with legal waste disposal.

It’s always struck me that one of the main reasons residents use cheap ‘rogue’ man & van clearance companies who fly tip waste, is because they (the residents) are often unaware that, on top of fuel, labour and overheads, it actually costs legitimate waste companies around £100 a tonne to dispose of waste.

Hopefully, even a small levy at the tip will remind residents that waste disposal isn’t free, and so if a friendly man & van only charge you £50 to clear a skip load of waste from your backyard, you haven’t paid a fair price – you’ve just paid him to fly-tip it for you!

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