In response to a number of calls on the subject, I’m providing below some answers to the questions you have asked. I hope this clarifies the situation, but please contact me if you have any questions
WHY ARE CHANGES TO ACCESS AT THE HRCs REQUIRED?
Household Recycling Centres (HRC) are funded by householders through their domestic rate bills and are provided primarily for householder use.
Currently the Council allows unrestricted access to the HRCs by all types of vehicles and users.
The consequence is that the domestic ratepayers of the Borough are bearing an additional bill in the region of £1.4 million to manage the extra 15,000 tonnes of waste that is being brought into the sites, compared to the NI average. This additional waste is arriving at our HRCs mainly in commercial type vehicles. These figures are growing annually and the current situation is clearly unsustainable.
WHAT WILL BE THE ADVANTAGES OF THE CHANGES?
- A significant drop in waste processing costs to householders, whose domestic rates fund the provision of the HRCs.
- Much easier access to the HRCs by householders, who currently regularly experience problems getting into and around the sites because of congestion caused by large volumes of commercial type vehicles.
- Assurance that any valid use of the site by a domestic householder to dispose of their own waste will continue to be accommodated, regardless of the general restrictions in place for commercial type vehicles (see answer to question 6).
What will the change mean in practice?
- All commercial type vehicles will be prohibited from entering and using the sites and only cars will be allowed access.
- Trailers will also be prohibited, with the only routine exception being where the trailer is towed by a car and is being used for the deposit of compostable organic garden waste (grass and hedge/tree cuttings).
- In other circumstances where a trailer is being towed by a car, but carrying other types of purportedly ‘household’ waste, access will be permitted. However the site user will be asked to provide ID showing their residential address and the details of the vehicle will be recorded; Council staff will reserve the right to challenge the site user where inordinately frequent/recurrent use of the site with the trailer would suggest that the user is not a householder merely disposing of their household waste.
- Where a householder presents at a site in a commercial type van with material that they advise is their own household waste and presents an acceptable reason for not using a car to transport it, they will be allowed access. However they will be asked to provide ID showing their residential address and the details of the vehicle will be recorded; Council staff will reserve the right to challenge the site user where inordinately frequent/recurrent use of the site with the van would suggest that the user is not a householder disposing of their household waste.
- Commercial waste will be accepted onto the sites, but must be transported in a domestic car, i.e. not in a commercial type vehicle.
- Commercial users must register with the Council and pay the requisite charges for their commercial waste using the designated arrangements for such charging.
- Operational site access restrictions will be implemented as required to prevent unauthorised access, along with any other controls deemed necessary to enforce the restrictions.
WHAT IS MEANT BY A ‘COMMERCIAL TYPE VEHICLE’ AND A ‘CAR’?
Commercial type vehicles will be regarded as any vehicle primarily designed for commercial type activity and the associated carriage of larger volumes of goods. They include vans and trucks from small, through to medium and larger size.
Cars include larger cars such as MPVs, 4WDs, Jeep-type vehicles and Pick-Ups.
I AM A HOUSEHOLDER WISHING TO USE THE SITE TO DISPOSE OF/RECYCLE WASTE FROM MY HOME – WILL I BE PREVENTED FROM DOING THAT?
No. The HRCs are paid for by householders and are there primarily for use by those householders to dispose of their own waste. Regardless of the above general access requirements, if any householder comes to the site and of necessity has to use a commercial type van or trailer to transport their household waste, they simply need to explain the circumstances to the site attendant and access will be permitted.
The site attendant will take reasonable steps to verify that the site user is a householder disposing of their own waste and may challenge very frequent or unusual movements of waste brought by the same person/vehicle. As a rule of thumb, if this type of access requirement occurs more than three times in a rolling three month period they may enquire further as to the valid reasons.
We know that the overwhelming number of visits to the HRCs by householders is by car, and the above situation requiring their use of a commercial type van or trailer occurs much less frequently. But we understand that there will be some occasions when this legitimately happens and all valid householder access requirements will be met.
I AM A HOUSEHOLDER WITHOUT ANY MEANS OF GETTING TO THE HRC TO GET RID OF MY OWN HOUSEHOLD WASTE. WHAT CAN I DO?
- Firstly, make maximum use of the three wheeled bins now provided by the Council.
- Many of the bulkier household waste items can be collected from your property using the Council’s Bulky Waste Collection Service – 6 items for a fee of £15. http://www.ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/resident/bins-and-recycling/special-collections
- A neighbour, friend or family member may be able to take you to the HRC in their car.
- A local charity or church may be able to assist you depending on your circumstances.
- If none of these options are suitable, contact one of the many private waste management services that exist; see trade directories/yellow pages/Internet.
DO THE NEW ACCESS RULES MEAN THAT THE COUNCIL IS BANNING THE USE OF HRCS BY BUISNESSES?
No. All of the Council’s HRCs will still be open to access by commercial/business users for small quantities of their waste – subject to the normal legal and administrative requirements for this. However, unlike before, they will only be able to bring that waste into the HRCs in cars.
The Council recognises that the local use of its HRCs is a valuable complement to the kerbside trade waste bin collection service for small to medium sized local businesses, and wishes to continue to have the option available to them for disposal of small quantities of waste that can’t be accommodated in their wheeled bins.
But the unsustainable, use of the HRCs for large scale disposal of big volumes/tonnages of waste brought to sites in commercial type vehicles will no longer be permitted.
I AM A TRADE OR BUSINESS OWNER WHO CURRENTLY USES THE HRCs USING A COMMERCIAL TYPE VEHICLE – WHAT WILL I DO WITH MY WASTE NOW?
Firstly, you have the option of adapting your waste disposal routine to comply with the new access requirements for HRCs. The Council has specifically built in options to facilitate this, within its new HRC access rules.
If that is not possible, there are a large number of private waste management companies and services available, who will be able to provide a business solution for your trade waste disposal requirements. However, because the HRCs are primarily provided for and funded by domestic ratepayers, the Council cannot sustain the large scale management of the Borough’s business waste on behalf of local commercial entities.
WILL THE NEW ACCESS RULES COME INTO PLACE STRAIGHT AWAY?
No. The Council has specifically agreed to a lengthy lead-in period to allow users of the HRCs to become informed of the pending changes and allow any necessary alternative waste management arrangements to made.
The new access restrictions as detailed in the answer to question 2 will commence on Monday 22nd August, 2016.
HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION OR ADVICE?
You can do so by one of the following means:
- Visit our Council web page: http://www.ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/resident/bins-and-recycling/recycling-centres
- Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call on 03000133333 – select option 3 ‘recycling’.