Tip users could be charged up to £6 for non-household waste

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Kent County Council [KCC] has started a consultation into the plans which could net them £4million a year and have been labelled by critics as ‘penalising’.

Residents have until November 1 to have their say on plans which could affect users of the waste centre at North Farm in Tunbridge Wells.

These are likely to see: Soil, rubble and hardcore waste cost £4 per bag and plasterboard cost £6 per bag to leave.

The Conservative-led county council is expected to pass the changes early next year. This would follow the lead of East Sussex, Surrey and Bromley councils.

KCC Tory Cllr Mike Whiting said: “We need to reduce our annual waste and recycling budget further, while providing residents with an accessible household waste and recycling centre [HWRC].

“KCC has no statutory requirement to accept non-household waste, however, we appreciate from time to time residents may need to dispose of these materials.

“The county council would like to continue to offer a service and proposes a modest charge to offset the cost. Before any decisions are made, we would like to hear your views”.

All of Kent’s HWRCs would be impacted. The North Farm tip is likely to come under further pressure following the closures of centres in Wadhurst and Forest Row.

The opposition Liberal Democrat group may well vote with the Tories on the matter, having previously stated a need to charge to stop residents coming into Kent from other counties to use facilities.

However, the Green Party have stated opposition and fear the change could lead to an increase in fly-tipping.

Mark Hood, of Tonbridge & Malling Green Party, said: “This proposal has some merits but could penalise people undertaking DIY projects who wish to dispose of materials safely. It could also lead to an increase in unsafe and antisocial disposal, including fly-tipping.”

To take part in the consultation, visit kent.gov.uk/wasteconsultation

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