Will fly-tipping rise in North Somerset with waste policy changes?

Fly Tipping in Puxton.

Fly Tipping in Puxton. - Credit: Archant

Changes to waste dumping policy could lead to a rise in fly-tipping in North Somerset, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has warned.

North Somerset Council will implement new charges to waste centres on April 1, where people will be charged to dump construction and DIY waste.

But the NFU fears these changes may lead to a rise in fly-tipping, which it says is ‘the scourge of the countryside’.

An NFU spokesman said: “We have found it to be the case in other areas where such charges have been introduced – West Cornwall for example, where there was certainly a spike in cases when charges first came in.

“People would find themselves being turned away from the recycling centre because they had forgotten or didn’t know there was a charge and had no money, or there’s an argument about the size of the bag, and so on.

“All of which tempts people to dump it in a layby or on a field.”

The NFU hopes charges are ‘well-publicised an applied sympathetically’ when the new scheme is introduced, which would ‘be cheaper in the long run than having to clear up a lot of fly-tipping’.

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A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “Fly-tipping is a concern to the council and the majority of small scale events consist of material which cannot be presently taken into the recycling centres as it comes from commercial sources.

“One of the things we are doing to counteract this is to also allow small quantities of up to 10 bags of waste including construction material to be delivered to the recycling centres by small businesses. This will be at Weston during a six-hour window per week.

“We will be monitoring fly-tipping around the district following the introduction of the new arrangement to charge.”

The council says it has publicised the changes through information distributed through the post and online.

The spokesman added: “We support the NFU initiative and would welcome discussions with them on how we can tackle this offensive crime.”

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