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PLANS BACKED: Recycling centres to charge for DIY and construction waste

PLANS BACKED: Recycling centres to charge for DIY and construction waste

Denbigh recycling and waste park, Image: Google Maps

Plans to charge residents for some household waste at recycling centres have been backed by Denbighshire’s cabinet.

Denbighshire County Council has undertaken a joint procurement exercise with Conwy to sign a contractor for all of its household waste recycling centres across both counties.

Whilst Conwy already charges for certain types of rubbish at its Mochdre and St George sites, Denbighshire’s recycling centres will now also begin charging from 1 April 2022.

At a meeting today, head of environment Tony Ward explained rubbish such as construction, demolition and DIY waste, soil, rubble, plasterboard, wood and timber, asbestos, tyres and gas bottles will incur a charge.

But Cllr Emrys Wynne feared the changes could cause a backlash from upset residents.

He said: “The fact that users will have to pay for using some elements of the waste sites, of course, is going to raise the hackles of a number of residents.

“I foresee that it could cause annoyance on some sites, and I hope the workers on the sites will have received enough training and assistance so they don’t have to deal with the less pleasurable elements that may arise when people visit.”

Cllr Bobby Feeley thought the report did not make clear exactly what waste needed paying for and what didn’t.

“I’m a little bit nervous in your confidence, Tony (Ward), in saying ‘everyone will understand – it will be very clear and nobody will have a problem’. It sounds as if I already have a problem, and I have been through it (the report) quite a bit to see what is or isn’t allowed,” she said.

“If I’m having trouble understanding, I worry about the residents across Denbighshire.”

The meeting’s chair Cllr Julian Thompson-Hill responded: “I don’t want to put words in Tony’s mouth, but I think probably his confidence (in the new scheme) is based on the fact that Conwy residents are already using the system, presumably without too much issue, and therefore if Conwy residents are able to do it, I assume Denbighshire residents will be able to do it as well.”

But Mr Ward responded: “I think it’s quite clear what the types of waste we will charge for – it is quite a specific list of things.”

The council report states that the contract will be a ‘concessions’ deal in which the contractor can generate an income through the sale of recyclable materials, charges for DIY and construction waste and income from Re-Use shop initiatives.

The report reads: “This type of contract is an increasingly common method the Public Sector use to partner with an economic operator who provides services from which they can generate income. The income offsets some or all of the cost of the contract to the public body.”

The contract has a seven-year term with an option to extend for up to three years.

But Cllr Emrys Wynne was unconvinced.

He said: “My concern is that Denbighshire will be asking residents to part with money which in the past they haven’t had to part with for doing the same task.”

Mr Ward said that was incorrect.

“We are not asking people to part with money for something which we previously did for free,” he said.

“That’s kind of the point here. We are allowing people to bring materials in future that they currently would not be able to bring to the recycling centres. The only other way they would be able to relieve themselves of this waste currently in these quantities would be to hire a skip or pay a licensed waste operative company to remove it for them.”

Denbighshire has recycling parks at Denbigh, Lon Parcwr and Rhyl.

The contractor is yet to be appointed and was discussed as an exempt item.

 

Words: Richard Evans, Local Democracy Reporter


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