Having reported in the past about the tendency of Councils to shift the burden of paying for basic services—such as waste removal—on to the taxpayer, we now hear of the environmental price being paid for introducing new waste charges.
Since Cornwall Council introduced new charges for visiting local recycling centres, fly-tipping incidents have gone up by a third, as the public doesn’t know what they have to pay for. From 837 incidents of fly-tipping over four months in 2013, the figure has shot up to 1,119 over the same period in 2014 since charges were brought in.
“I am not sure what the public perception is at the moment,” said a concerned Redruth Councillor. “I think it is one of utter confusion. I don't think people have it clear in their minds what is chargeable and what isn’t.”
“There has been an increase in fly-tipping incidents since the charges came in,” admitted a Cornwall Council spokesperson. “In the main, the type of waste that is fly tipped is waste that can be taken to and disposed of free of charge at the Household Waste Recycling Centres.”
The increasing bureaucracy required of residents to visit their local recycling sites can also be a barrier to doing the right thing. In Bath & North East Somerset Council, residents must now obtain an electronic permit or Discovery Card to enter their recycling centres. Not always at the top of your mind when you’ve cleared out your house and got a car full of rubbish!
Tim Newark is the South West Grassroots Co-ordinator for the TaxPayers' Alliance