‘Stop the bulky waste charges to prevent fly-tipping’, claim opposition councillors

Opposition councillors have claimed bulky waste charges in Leeds have led to an “alarming increase” in the number of fly tipping incidents in the city.

By Richard Beecham
Thursday, 18th March 2021, 1:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 1:46 pm

The charges, dubbed the “DIY tax” were introduced back in February 2018 for certain materials in an attempt to cover the cost of the authority’s waste disposal sites.

But Conservative members of Leeds City Council have claimed the charges are encouraging people to fly-tip, and have called on the council to urgently reverse the charges.

A motion, known as a “white paper”, will be presented to a full Leeds City Council meeting by Conservative councillor Amanda Carter.

Cars queuing at Seacroft Household Waste Recycling Centre.

It states: “This council is concerned by recent reports from DEFRA suggesting that since 2012 fly-tipping incidents nationally and in Leeds have risen at an alarming rate.

“This council believes that a major contributing factor to this problem is the insistence by the ruling administration in Leeds that residents should not only pay extra council tax but also have to pay for disposal of inert and bulky waste.

“Whilst the most recent figures show a reduction in fly-tipping incidents from a peak in 2018/19, the total number remains high compared to other local authorities.”

It went on to claim that government statistics show fly tipping incidents jumped from 2,977 in 2012/13, to 26,079 in 2019/20 – a rise of 776 per cent.

Leeds City Council’s website lists prices to dispose of bulky waste at its household recycling sites. It states that for single items, such as sinks, toilet cisterns and chimney pots, are charged at £2.60 each for disposal.

Rubble, soil or ceramics is charged by estimated volume – at £2.60 for a 25 litre bag, £15.60 for a standard car boot-full, or £20.80 for an estate car boot full. The corresponding charges for plasterboard and gypsum-based materials are £4.80, £28.80 and £38.40.

In addition to this, the authority increased charges for individual bulky waste home collections from £20 to £30 in this year’s budget.

The motion added: “Of further concern, is the almost halving of prosecutions over the same period, from 15 in 2012/13 to just 8 in 2019/20, representing 0.03 per cent of all fly-tipping incidents in Leeds for the year.

“This council believes that the ruling administration has presided over a fly-tipping crisis in this city, a crisis that affects inner city areas to a greater extent and a crisis that needs to be urgently addressed.

“As a starting point, this council calls for an immediate end to charging for bulky and inert waste in Leeds and for a report to be brought to Executive Board at the earliest opportunity setting out a zero-tolerance approach to how fly-tipping can be tackled in our city and offenders brought before the courts.”

The motion will go before a full Leeds City Council meeting on Wednesday, March 24.