Changes at Oxfordshire’s tips but is it really bad news?

Alkerton Waste Recycling Centre, Banbury. NNL-170509-153227009
Alkerton Waste Recycling Centre, Banbury. NNL-170509-153227009

From October 1 Oxfordshire County Council is raising the cost to dispose of non household refuse at all seven of the counties Houshold Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC).

The rules, too, are slightly changing but there is much to applaud in the move not least of which is the fact that all seven HWRCs will remain operational, they will still accept household waste and will not cut operating hours.

Alkerton Waste Recycling Centre, Banbury. NNL-170509-153151009

Alkerton Waste Recycling Centre, Banbury. NNL-170509-153151009

In purely monetary terms the increase in cost to get rid of your non household waste is so small it may have gone unnoticed if it were not for the council’s media campaign to highlight the changes.

The current DIY, 1, 2, 3, system, which has remained unchanged for the past 15 years, allowed residents to deposit up to three items for free, before being charged a small fee of £1 for each additional item.

The new system will do away with the free allowance and charge a flat fee of £1.50 for DIY or non household goods that include sinks, baths, kitchen units, radiators, fence panels, bag of soil or rubble. The increase from £1 per item to £1.50 is less than inflation over the 15 year period.

There will be a £5 charge to dispose of car and motorcycle tyres, up from £2.50 and plasterboard rubble and sheet will also have additional charges.

Alkerton Waste Recycling Centre, Banbury. NNL-170509-153139009

Alkerton Waste Recycling Centre, Banbury. NNL-170509-153139009

The move comes after a public consultation during the summer of 2106 involving all seven county HWRCs. The overwhelming public response, 91 per cent, indicated that they would rather pay a small amount to deposit refuse than risk losing the centres altogether.

Oxfordshire County Councillor Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment said: “Oxfordshire’s residents told us very clearly that their priority was to see all the HWRCs kept open when the new contract started and I am delighted that we have been able to achieve that.

“Oxfordshire has one of the best recycling rates in the country which is thanks to the hard work of our residents who collectively make a huge difference to the environment by separating out their household waste and recycling as much as they can.

“While the county council does not have a legal obligation to accept non-household waste at HWRCs, this is a popular and highly valued service among local communities and I am therefore pleased that W and S Recycling is able to continue to offer this service, with only a modest price increase.

She added: “Overall, I am delighted that our HWRC service remains an accessible, and affordable service.”

Full details of the new prices are available at each HWRC and online at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/chargeablewaste.

Fly-tipping in and around Banbury has been a perennial problem for many years and fears are that the increase in cost to dispose of DIY waste and vehicle tyres will see a spike in the antisocial crime.

However in comparison to neighbouring counties the cost to dispose of non household waste is good value and all seven recycling and waste centres in the county will remain open with no change in their operating times or days.

Cherwell District Councillor Debbie Pickford, lead member for Clean and Green, said: “There’s always a risk of more fly-tipping but we don’t think it is that genuine.

“There are people that won’t like it but I don’t think it will be a massive problem in Cherwell.

She added: “This is much better than them being closed which was proposed last year, but Cherwell will be looking at it.”

In Warwrwickshire the cost to dispose of a vehicle tyre is listed at ‘starting from’ £6. To dispose of small electrical goods such as a toaster or light fitting it costs £2 while disposal of a regular fridge will set you back £12.

In Leicestershire the charge to dispose of a bath, toilet or sink is £3, double that of the new October 1 price list across Oxfordshire and none of Leicestershire’s recycling centres accept tyres.

Alternatives are also less cost efficient as a typical ‘builders skip’, a six yard skip with a capacity of between 50 and 60 bin bags, could cost you as much as £200.

If you live in a residential area where the skip will be situated on a street you will have to get a permit from the council at an additional cost.

Penalties for fly-tipping have also become more severe with on-the-spot fines of up to £400 introduced last year.

Courts can issue fines of up to £50,000 for persistent offenders and imprisonment of up to five years.