COLUMN: £1million spent in clearing up our neighbour’s waste

Councillor Jim Creamer'Chairman of the County Council's Environment and Sustainability Committee
Councillor Jim Creamer'Chairman of the County Council's Environment and Sustainability Committee

The Easter weekend just gone is regarded by most people as the first bank holiday of the year – New Year’s Day seems a long time ago – and many of us will have spent it taking garden or spring cleaning waste to the local tip, or recycling centre as we prefer to call them.

We’re lucky in Nottinghamshire in that we generally have more recycling centres than our neighbours such as Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.

The downside of this, however, is that we receive significant amounts of waste from outside our county.

It has been calculated that these waste “imports” cost the county council and its residents up to £1 million every year in waste disposal costs.

Clearly that situation cannot continue and that’s why we’re introducing a number of changes to our recycling centres, including a registration scheme so that in future only Nottinghamshire residents will be able to use them.

The scheme won’t be enforced until later in the year but residents can register now, either online or by calling our customer services team who will be available on the telephone to help with the process.

In addition, we’re also introducing a range of charges for people bringing what’s known as “inert waste” into the recycling centres – DIY waste such as rubble, plasterboard and soil.

We’ve always accepted small amounts of this without charge, despite not being required to by legislation, and this will continue for people arriving by car.

However, it costs the county council money to dispose of waste like this and so we are introducing a sliding scale of charges for people bringing such waste to the recycling centres in vans, pick-ups or trailers.

This will ensure the disposal cost of the materials is covered, allowing the council to continue offering this valuable service to residents.

These improvements will be in place shortly, although we will be allowing a grace period before enforcement to allow residents to adapt to the new arrangements.

These changes will help the county council save money which can be reinvested into other essential services such as child protection and care for the elderly and disabled.

The simple registration process can be completed online at the county council’s website, or by calling the customer service centre on 0300 500 80 80.