On April 1 this year all recycling centres in Buckinghamshire introduced a charge for non-household waste items.
This came as a bit of a shock when Raymond Lugmire, 73. Raymond visited the Aston Clinton recycling centre to dispose of some garden waste when he was stopped and told about the charge.
Raymond said: “I just had normal garden waste, which I took to the A41 site.
“I started to empty my waste and a guy in a high viz jacket came up to me and asked me what I was getting rid of.
“I showed him that it was just a handful of wood and he then tried to charge me £2.50.”
Unhappy with the charge Raymond did some research and set about spreading the word to his neighbours: “I went on the website and found a whole list of of price charges for non-household waste items, which I have printed off and given out to all my neighbours and they are just as shocked about it as I am.
“If I was to get rid of some concrete or bricks they would charge £2.50 per 25 litre sack, now I don't own a 25 litre sack and I don't know anybody would does.
“If you were just getting rid of a handful of bricks they would still charge the £2.50. It's a joke, am I supposed to get a contractor out to get rid of anything not household waste, which is mainly the only thing people take to the tip, if you have household waste it goes in the bin and gets taken weekly.”
Raymond has a few words of warning, both for bucks cc and those affected by the charges: “The general public will now be quizzed about that they are throwing away and then charged, it's disgusting.
“People are going to end up just throwing their rubbish away down the lane which is going to cause even more problems down the line.”
In response, BCC issued the following statement:
"On 1 April 2019, we introduced a number of changes to Buckinghamshire's household recycling centres which were necessary in order to achieve a required annual budget saving to the service of £1.2m.
"One of the changes we made was to bring in charges for disposing of non-household waste, which actually makes up only about a quarter of the waste that residents bring to the sites. The other 75% of waste that people bring, including green garden waste, can still be disposed of for free. Staff are on hand to inform people of whether they need to pay for the disposal of the waste they have brought – this is not intrusive, but merely to help visitors understand the requirements.
"The flat fee per bag for things such as soil or rubble is a simple and easy basis for charging. It would be quite difficult to operate a more complex fee scale for those who take small amounts of material to the recycling centres, and this would be likely to cause significant delays at busy times.
"Our own and other authorities' previous experience indicates that law-abiding residents do not start fly tipping just because changes are made to recycling centre services. However, we continue to closely monitor illegal dumping incidents to identify any effect of the introduction of the changes. Our zero-tolerance approach means that we will prosecute in every case where we have evidence that a person has been involved in fly tipping."
The full list of charges now in place can be found here: https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/waste-and-recycling/changes-to-buckinghamshire-recycling-centres/charges-for-non-household-waste/full-list-of-non-household-waste-charges/