Thank you to all those who have written to me regarding the changes to the operation of our Household Waste Recycling Sites in West Sussex.
The Public consultation ran from the 16th May to 12th June 2016 and was advertised online on County websites, physically at each of the Household Waste Recycling Sites and mobile recycling sites, in libraries where hard copies of the consultation documents were also available and indirectly, via the local press who published the proposals and decisions throughout this process, whilst I also included it in my monthly newsletter. The consultation received 4899 responses and in terms of sufficiency, constitutes the largest number of consultation responses ever received by West Sussex CC. In addition to this, each Borough, District, Parish and Town Council in West Sussex was notified of this consultation and sent a full briefing pack on the proposals prior to its commencement.
Only non-household wastes, which include soil, hard-core, plasterboard and tyres, are being charged for on sites and all other waste streams currently accepted will continued to be disposed of by residents free of charge. A full list of chargeable wastes is available on our website www.recycleforwestsussex.org/changes.
Where standard rubble sacks and those available from supermarkets and DIY stores are manufactured between 45-55 litres, it was determined that reference to an 80 litre sack should be changed. It is our intention to distribute rubble sacks free of charge for a short period to demonstrate to site users the type of sack they should use. Going forward, a £4 charge per bag will apply irrespective of the type and size of bag actually used, as long as the waste remains contained and it can be lifted unaided from the customer’s vehicle to the container.
Regarding the issue and risk of increased fly-tipping in the County as a result of these changes, we sourced data and information from 5 other County Councils that had implemented similar changes to their Household Waste Recycling Sites and found that any increase in the fly-tipping of household waste was negligible. We investigated the counties that evidenced actual declines in fly-tipping after such changes were made and found that this was largely due to increases in enforcement actions taken. To this end, WSCC has taken the decision to invest in a new enforcement team to assist and coordinate the enforcement and investigation actions of the Boroughs and Districts with the intention to mitigate this perceived risk. There’s no evidence to show that West Sussex residents will resort to fly-tipping – which is a criminal offence and blights local areas. It’s most likely that unscrupulous trade waste operator’s fly-tip rubbish because they don’t want to pay the costs of using a legal waste site – even if they have charged their customers for providing the service, our enforcement measures are being introduced to ensure these unscrupulous operators are caught and will be prosecuted.
None of the proposals or the resulting decisions has been taken lightly and their impact and effectiveness will be monitored at all times going forward to ensure that the financial savings are being delivered and that wastes are being compliantly and efficiently managed.