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DCLG pressed on DIY charges

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has been pressed to take action to prevent a waste authority from charging residents for household DIY material.

In the House of Commons, Christchurch MP Christopher Chope (pictured) issued a written question to communities secretary Sajid Javid about what he would do about the charging policy from the Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP).

Responding on behalf of Javid, communities minister Marcus Jones fell short of saying the department would take direct action on DWP or any other waste authority that introduces charges.

He said: “In 2015, the Government introduced legislation to prevent local authorities from charging their residents to dispose of household waste at household waste recycling centres (HWRCs).

“Recently updated guidance on these centres, prepared by the charity WRAP, classifies DIY waste as household waste if it results from work a householder would normally carry out. The Government supports that position.”

Many other waste authorities have decided to introduce charges in recent months for materials such as plasterboard and soil at their HWRCs, including Hampshire, Leicestershire and North Yorkshire county councils.

In response to an MRW query in October, DCLG pledged to “take action” against councils that introduced such charges.

However, WRAP’s HWRC Guide, which advises councils that DIY waste resulting “from work a householder would normally carry out” is classed as household waste, is guidance and not a statutory requirement.

Earlier this month in the Commons, Southampton MP Royston Smith appeared to call on Defra to offer financial incentives to deter councils from charging for materials taken to HWRCs.

However, Defra did not directly respond to this suggestion.

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