NAWDO Statement: Ban on Charging for non-household (‘DIY’) waste
Thursday 22nd June 2023
In response to the publication of the Government’s response to the Consultation on Preventing charges for DIY waste at household waste recycling centres (‘Recycling Centres’), the National Association of Waste Disposal Officers (NAWDO) is disappointed with the decision to continue with the removal of some charges for construction and demolition (‘DIY’) waste.
NAWDO’s response to the consultation in 2022 advocated for this to be a local decision for each individual authority to make, depending on its individual circumstances. The Government’s decision will have significant negative financial impacts on local authorities at a time when budgets for 2023-24 have already been agreed and the future financial picture is extremely difficult. Funding the handling and disposal of this type of waste will be costly and is likely to affect service provision across many areas. NAWDO’s response to the consultation also highlighted that this proposal ignores the ‘Producer Pays’ principle and will essentially force all householders to fund the provision of a free service for those few who are able to afford to undertake DIY construction-type projects at home. This seems to be at odds with the Government’s suggestion that stopping charges of this type will support householders at a time when the cost of living is challenging for everyone.
While NAWDO members are in strong support of measures to reduce waste crime, the Government’s assertion that this policy will reduce fly-tipping is not supported by research undertaken by the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) published in 2021[i] which states that “initial analysis suggests that there is no evidence that charging for DIY-type waste pushes up fly-tipping rates.” NAWDO has been supporting lobbying for reforms to waste crime sentencing guidelines and would like to see progress after the consultations held in early 2022 on Digital Waste Tracking and the reform of the Waste Carrier, broker, dealer registration; the responses to which have yet to be published.
Local authorities across England have been waiting since Autumn 2021[ii] for the Government to publish its proposed changes to waste regulations. NAWDO members are frustrated that proposals such as this ban on charges is being implemented at a time where there remains a great deal of uncertainty about how and when other aspects of the proposed reforms to the waste sector, as set out in the Resources and Waste Strategy (2018), are going to be implemented.
Local Authorities want to work constructively with the Government and would welcome the opportunity to engage further on the opportunities available to reduce waste and tackle the key issue of waste crime.
[i] WRAP report “The relationship between fly-tipping rates and HWRC charging”, June 2021