The Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council claim the Conservative administration have ignored their own Government’s demand to stop charging local residents for bringing DIY waste to local tips.
In 2018, the Surrey Lib Dems used a motion to call on the County Council to “Listen to the Government and drop the DIY charges” and the Lib Dems are again calling on the Council to do just that.
Five years on from that motion Surrey County Council is continuing to charge householders who bring DIY waste to their local community recycling centre for disposal, even though the practice contravenes government policy.
A statement published by DEFRA last month clarified that there should be a distinction made between the waste generated by a householder undertaking minor works to maintain and enhance their property and that emanating from the professional construction of buildings, demolition etc.
Leader of Surrey Lib Dems, Will Forster said:
“I don’t normally agree with a Conservative government, but for once it does seem to be on the side of normal residents. The Tory administration in Surrey decided to interpret the rules differently from some other waste authorities and will now have to admit they were wrong. It is quite clear that Surrey residents should not be subject to these charges, and it is unacceptable that the County Council is continuing to make them pay. It is a shame that they didn’t listen to us back in 2018”
A spokesperson for Surrey County Council responded to the Epsom and Ewell Times: “On 18th June the Government announced that it was proposing to change the law to require local authorities to accept small amounts of construction waste from ‘do it yourself’(DIY) activities, from householders, free of charge. Surrey County Council, like most of our neighbouring authorities currently make a charge for all rubble and plasterboard.
“As part of the announcement, the Government has set out the quantity of construction waste that will have to be accepted free of charge – up to two 50-litre rubble bags or one large item no larger than 2m X 0.75m x 0.7m per household at a maximum frequency of 4 visits over 4 weeks.
“Whilst it is as yet unclear as to when the Government intend to change the law to implement the policy change Surrey County Council’s Cabinet had already been reviewing the potential to change our policy around charging for DIY waste with the intention of introducing a free allowance for householders in line with the Government’s announcement.
“It is proposed to implement this change at the beginning of September this year.”