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Derbyshire scraps household DIY waste charge

A second council has withdrawn charges for household DIY waste after the Government indicated that a review would outlaw them.

The removal of charges by Derbyshire County Council follows the recent local government elections in which the Conservatives regained power.

Fees had been introduced on 3 April to help offset the county’s £37.2m annual waste bill. Residents were required to pay £3 per standard rubble sack to take soil, bricks, rubble and ceramics such as bathroom furniture and tiles to its civic amenity recycling sites.

The previous policy of accepting a maximum of 50kg − the equivalent of two 25kg sacks − of building and demolition waste per visit was reinstated by using emergency powers held by the chief executive.

The council says the charges have now been scrapped in response to the new litter strategy, prepared by Defra and the transport and communities departments, which was published on 10 April.

West Sussex County Council suspended its charging regime immediately.

The Whitehall litter document 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”.

Derbyshire’s cabinet member designate for highways, transport and infrastructure, Simon Spencer, said: “Reversing charges at recycling centres is straightforward common sense. It is the service Derbyshire taxpayers expect and it’s the right thing to do to protect our countryside and local communities.

“Abolishing the charges is just the start. We will be working with district and borough councils across the county to rid Derbyshire of the fly-tipping that blights our communities even further.”

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