Will residents be charged to dump DIY waste at tips in Milton Keynes from next month?
Labour councillors have denied claims that residents will be charged a 'tip tax' at MK household waste sites from April.
Rival Conservatives say the scheme to charge £1.90 per 25kg bag of soil, rubble and hardcore was approved in recent budget papers.
It is coupled with the council's proposal to make the tip booking system permanent.
The 'tip tax' has been slammed by Conservative councillors as an unwise decision, which is likely to result in a increase of fly-tipping throughout the borough.
But Labour's Cabinet member for Public Realm, Cllr Emily Darlington, said today: "This is untrue. The Council charges for commercial waste and we are closing a loophole. Residents who do DIY and gardening will not be affected.”
Budget papers say the current scheme will be "finessed" from April 1 and "non household" and building waste such as soil, hardcore and rubble disposal will be charged per 25kg bag.
The Tories say the problem will coming deciding whether the soil, rubble and hardcore is classed as non- household or the result of residents' DIY or gardening.
Cllr Alex Walker, Leader of the MK Councils Conservative group, said: “The council pretends this is just for commercial waste, but it’s going to hit normal residents who are doing basic stuff at home like installing a new bathroom or improving their kitchen."
He added: "The pandemic has already caused a great deal of financial hardship for residents who are already facing their 7th council tax increase in seven years. Now Labour have confirmed their tip tax that will discourage recycling, increase fly tipping and disadvantage those who do home DIY projects."
“This will have a huge impact on fly-tipping as the council put up more barriers to waste disposal,
following their proposal to make tip booking permanent.”
The system is based upon Cornwall Council’s model. However, in their first year charging for waste, they saw a
156% increase in fly-tipping, say the Tories.
A report released by Zero Waste into fly-tipping behaviour states that raising barriers to local waste services is a main driver behind an increase in fly-tipping. 'It is generally accepted that where local waste services impose a barrier to ease of access or affordability, this might motivate fly-tipping'. it states.
Fly-tipping in Milton Keynes is currently up by 16 per cent with nearly 500 reports of fly-tipping incidents per
month. In the recent Annual Crime and Community Safety Survey 2020/21, 67 per cent of residents said their
main concern was environmental crime – which includes fly-tipping.