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Rule Changes at Essex Recycling Centres – What Does It Mean for You?

October 2016 saw the arrival of new rules and regulations for recycling centres in Essex, impacting local businesses and residents. It is now a criminal offence for commercial, DIY and construction waste to be deposited at certain centres, with a further restriction on the types of vehicles that are allowed access. Read on for further details of these changes, and to explore the possible alternatives for you and your business.

What are the new Recycling Centre rules?

  • Commercial waste from businesses has been banned at many centres. Business waste is classified as any waste produced from ‘man-in-a-van’ schemes, shops, tradesmen, mobile businesses, and landlords.
  • Though household waste is still accepted, DIY and construction waste has been prohibited, even when produced by a domestic property. DIY materials include: soil, ceramics, fitted kitchen and bathroom units, plasterboard, uPVC doors and windows.
  • Vehicle restrictions have also been put in place. Anybody arriving at the recycling centre in a van, truck, or pickup truck will be turned away.
  • Whilst some centres in Essex have put total bans in place including Waltham Abbey, Chigwell, Mountnessing and others, some centres have only partial restrictions on the regularity and amount of waste permitted. Harlow and Ongar centres, for example, limit customers to just three wheelbarrow loads of soil, plasterboard and hardcore within 28 days, and have strict limitations on uPVC fixtures, ceramic toilets and kitchen fittings. Contact your local recycling centre to find out how they have been affected.

Anyone found breaking these rules may face a considerable fine of up to £50,000.Why have these new rules been made?

Historically, Council recycling centres are mainly intended for homeowners to deposit their household waste. However, many businesses have begun using these sites to avoid paying waste disposal costs. This has resulted in taxpayers paying higher disposal costs for this Council-run service, along with experiencing longer queues to enter the sites, thereby reducing the convenience and efficiency of the process.

The ban has come into force to prevent commercial businesses disposing their waste, and therefore preventing the congestion they cause. This will hopefully lead to smoother operation of recycling centres, allowing the focus to be shifted back to providing a service for homeowners.

Problems with the rule changesThere are fears that these restrictions will further contribute to the already increasing fly-tipping problem in Essex. Recently, a local landlord complained to the Council because the rules restricted his ability to dispose of garden waste from his multiple properties. He stated that he is worried that these new rules will lead landlords down the path of fly-tipping. Indeed, since the rules were put in place, it could be argued that they have already influenced the rise in illegal dumping cases throughout the Essex county. For a more in-depth exploration of this, see our article on the subject: Fly-tipping in Essex.

What’s the solution?

It’s more simple than you think to deal with waste from your business. Skips are a low cost option to manage and store waste, and also offer the convenience of delivery and collection to and from your Essex premises. With a huge range of skip sizes available, there’s an option perfect for every project, from small-scale refurbishments to large-scale construction ventures. Skip hire companies, such as David Brown, can arrange permits for you to make the process easy.

Have you been affected by the recycling centre changes? For affordable and reliable waste management solutions in Essex, look no further than David Brown. We are Environment Agency-approved, qualified to deal with different quantities and types of waste, including commercial, household and industrial. Call us today for a first-rate service or simply to get some friendly advice.

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