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The London council that wants to limit how often you can visit the tip

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The Household Reuse and Recycling Centre at Villiers Road, Kingston

How many visits to the tip would you normally make in a year?

Do you think it’s reasonable for your council to place a limit on the amount of times you can dump your waste there?

These questions have come into focus after one London council controversially plans to limit the numbers of visits residents can make to their tips to 20 per year.

The plans were reinforced in tweets made by councillors ahead of this week’s Culture, Housing, Environment and Planning Committee which will take place today (February 11)

Councillor Olly Wehring wrote: “We all need to bear in mind the need to dispose of waste responsibly and this includes looking at alternatives before heading to the tip. That’s why we’re looking to introduce a ‘fair use’ policy of a maximum of 20 visits per year.”

But Helen Hinton, group leader of the Kingston Independent Residents Group, said the restriction was “anything but fair”.

“It reduces necessary access to 20 times per household. The end result of all these restrictions will be more flytipping and illegal bonfires,” she said.

The Household Reuse and Recycling Centre at Villiers Road, Kingston

Council papers say most residents will not be affected by the change, as it will only affect the top three per cent of the most frequent visitors to the Villiers Road Household Reuse and Recycling Centre.

It said the aim of the new fair use policy will “help to restrict those that may be using the site to dispose of trade waste, reduce the amount of money spent on waste disposal each year, and ensure a fairer access for all residents”.

It noted that other authorities have already introduced annual limits, however these are much higher than Kingston’s proposals of 20 per year.

Kent County Council allows 48 visits per year while the Greater Manchester Combined Authority allows 52 visits per year.

In twitter remarks, councillors did however announce a U-turn by scrapping plans to introduce charges for disposing of ‘DIY’ or non-household waste at tips.

Cllr Kerr tweeted to confirm the U-turn before it was due to be discussed at today’s meeting.

It came after more than 3,000 residents signed a petition against the proposals, complaining that a charge of £5 per bag was unfair.

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Non-household waste includes rubbish from improvement, repair, or alteration to properties or DIY. It’s also waste that you would normally not take with you when you move house such as fittings and fixtures in your garden or property.

It could class as anything from rubble, to household fixtures and fittings and sheds, fencing and timber.

Cllr Kerr said said: “You spoke, we listened. Residents told us they were unhappy about plans to introduce charges for ‘DIY’ waste (non-household waste) at the tip.

“We will remove this from our budget plans and look for other ways to make savings.”

Helen Hinton, group leader of the Kingston Independent Residents Group, started the petition

Helen Hinton, group leader of the Kingston Independent Residents Group, started the petition

Cllr Wehring added: “In our attempts to keep the council afloat financially, we appear to have lost sight of the part we all have to play in disposing of Kingston’s waste as responsibly as possible.”

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Other changes include a permanent move to pre-booking slots to visit the tip online, which were originally introduced to manage the number of visitors when it first opened after a period of closure due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Ms Hinton has said this is disciminatory against residents who do not have internet access.

The council has said residents should initially consider seeking the support of friends and family to complete the booking form if this is the case, or should contact the council’s customer contact centre for support.

Council papers expected savings of £30,000 to be made through the changes in next year’s budget.

However, £25,000 was related to the implementation of DIY waste charging, which will now have to be found from elsewhere.

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