To comment and endorse or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste on the recommendation to introduce disposal charges for soil, rubble, hardcore and plasterboard at the KCC HWRCs, with charges and limits as follows:
· Soil, rubble and hardcore: £4 per bag (or part bag)/ item (a bag being up to the size of a standard black sack);
· Plasterboard: £6 per bag (or part bag)/ sheet (a bag being up to the size of a standard black sack); and
· A daily limit on soil, rubble and hardcore, of a maximum of 5 bags/ items per day
David Beaver (Head of Waste Management and Business services) and Hannah Allard (Waste Business Development Manager) were in attendance for this item.
1. Mr D Beaver introduced the report which set out the findings of the consultation and the recommended proposed changes to Kent County Council’s operating policy to adopt charging for non-household waste materials at Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs). Mr Beaver highlighted to Members that the current waste infrastructure would not cope with the anticipated levels of waste growth as a result of forecasted population increase and therefore, the recommended policy changes aimed to reduce demand on site, create revenue streams and create clearer intelligence that would enable more successful enforcement against individuals defrauding the Authority through illegal disposal of trade and commercial waste.
2. Ms H Allard drew Members attention to the results of the public consultation (set out within the report) and the key concerns from the public regarding the proposal to introduce charging at HWRCs. The most common concern cited by the consultation was the perception of increased fly-tippng, however, Ms Allard confirmed that there was no significant evidence which suggested charging at HWRCs impacted on this. Out of the authorities that had introduced charging, twelve had seen no impact or minimal impact and four said they had seen an increase; however, this was inline with national trends.
3. Mr S Jones (Director of Highways, Transportation and Waste) informed the Committee that the list on page 77 of the agenda pack had been revised since its publication and that garden ornaments (clay and concrete) should not have been listed within the table of chargeable waste materials.
4. The officers then responded to comments and questions from Members, including the following: -
(a) Mr Beaver assured Members that communication and training for HWRC staff was key. Following comments received as part of the public consultation, the KCC Waste Management Officers amended the policy to include staff discretion around the charging of waste disposal.
(b) In response to concerns regarding fly-tipping as a result of charging at HWRCs, Mr Beaver informed the Committee that his role as an officer was to present the facts as they were received and provide Members with the opportunity to resolve the operational issues that Kent County Council faced during a time of unprecedented change. Mr Beaver referred to neighbouring authorities that took the decision to prohibit their residents from depositing soil, rubble, hardcore and plasterboard and agreed that if Kent had adopted the same approach, fly-tipping may have been an issue. However, Members of the Council were clear that they wanted to protect the network and wanted to continue to provide services to the public. As alluded to previously, the evidence did not support that charging at HWRCs would negatively impact on fly-tipping.
(c) With regards to how fly-tipping is measured, Mr Beaver confirmed that it was measured via the number of incidents, not the weight in tonnage.
(d) Members commended the work of the officers and the cross-party ... view the full minutes text for item 147