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Dorset to tackle overspend by charging

Residents across Dorset will be charged for taking non-household materials to household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) which will generate £250,000 a year for the waste partnership.

The measures are aimed at reducing the £3.3m annual costs of running Dorset’s 11 HWRCs. It follows an announcement earlier this month that Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) was still almost £700,000 over budget despite special measures.

DWP ran a public consultation during the winter into money-saving options for the HWRCs. One option included closing one or more of the centres, but three-quarters of the 7,440 respondents voted against this.

Other proposals included charging entry, closing all HWRCs on two or three weekdays, charging residents to use centres in neighbouring areas, and charging to dispose of non-household waste.

The largest group, 57%, backed the charging proposal, and start-up costs are around £20,000. The survey also showed that 84% of people were satisfied with their local HWRC and 42% visited at least once a month.

Councillor Anthony Alford, chair of the DWP Joint Committee, said: “The results showed just how highly residents value Dorset’s recycling centres.

“HWRCs are mainly provided for recycling ordinary household materials. The types of waste for which there will be a small charge are the result of home improvements or can be disposed of in other legal ways, such as skip hire and garages.

“The changes agreed will achieve significant and much-needed savings with the minimum impact on the majority of people who use our centres.”

The new charges are as follows: £1.50 per bag of soil or rubble or item of DIY waste, such as ceramic basins; £6 per bag or £12 per sheet of asbestos; £2.50 per bag or £10 per sheet of plasterboard; £5 per car tyre; between £6 and £35 per gas canister.

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