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Council pauses DIY charges after Whitehall warning

A local authority has suspended charges for DIY waste at its household recycling centres (HWRCs) only hours after the Government indicated that a review would outlaw them.

The growing practice of councils to impose charges could be reversed under the Government’s new litter strategy. 

As MRW has previously reported, some authorities have argued that DIY is ‘waste other than household’ and were charging accordingly at HWRCs. They included West Sussex County Council which has now said such charges will be suspended.

On 10 April the new litter strategy, prepared by Defra and the transport and communities departments, included a reassertion of the Government’s view that: “DIY waste is classed as household waste if it results from work a householder would normally carry out”.

An official press release was blunter, saying the measures include “stopping councils from charging householders for disposal of DIY household waste at civic amenity sites”.

West Sussex’s decision came from chief executive Nathan Elvery in a statement on 11 April: “In order to avoid any potential confusion for our residents, we have decided to suspend all charges for these types of materials with immediate effect until the review by the Government has been concluded.

“From today therefore householders visiting any West Sussex amenity site will no longer be charged for the deposit of material which results from the sort of work householders would normally carry out on their homes – what most people would refer to as DIY waste. Once the Government’s review has been concluded, the county council will look at the matter again.”

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