A county council will begin charging for the disposal of soil, rubble, hardcore and plasterboard at its recycling centres from next month.
From June 3 charges will apply across Kent. Soil, rubble and hardcore will cost £4 a bag or item, limited to five bags/items a day. Plasterboard will be charged at £6 per bag or sheet.
Payment will need to be made using a debit or credit card. Cash or cheques will not be accepted, while plasterboard will not be accepted at Faversham, Folkestone, Sheerness and Swanley HWRCs, due to space limitations.
A number of organisations and residents, including the CLA, raised concerns during the consultation stage that the new charges could lead to a rise in fly-tipping across the county.
Here is a letter issued to media from CLA South East responding to the announcement...
Much good work is being done in the county to tackle the scourge of fly-tipping, but introducing new charges for disposing of items such as rubble and plasterboard is unlikely to help in the war against dumped waste.
In many parts of Kent the number of fly-tipping cases is rising, blighting the Garden of England, with 20,000 incidents recorded a year. It would be very disappointing if the numbers were to grow even bigger as a result of these new fees.
Kent County Council is to charge £6 per plasterboard bag and £4 per bag of soil, rubble and hardcore from 3 June. While some other councils in England also charge, these fees are higher than in some areas.
There were nearly one million cases of fly-tipping recorded by local authorities in 2017/18, though the true figures are likely to be significantly higher as predominantly the statistics do not include incidents on private land, where the landowner has responsibility to oversee the clearance and cost for waste removal. The CLA estimates it costs a farmer or landowner an average of £844 to clear up each incident.
The message needs to be sent loud and clear that dumping waste will not be tolerated, and those who do it will be prosecuted. Imposing and enforcing stiffer penalties which better reflect the seriousness of the crime is crucial, along with seizing the vehicles used to fly-tip.
The CLA represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses across the region. For more information about its work, visit www.cla.org.uk/your-area/south-east/regional-news and follow @CLASouthEast on Twitter.
CLA South East