'Going to the dump now is like going through customs': Telegraph readers on the rubbish-tip 'tax'

Naomi Southwell
Telegraph readers argued that fly-tipping in their area had increased following the introduction of charges to dispose of household waste - PA

A government review has been launched into the ‘arbitrary fees’, dubbed the rubbish-tip ‘tax’, charged by councils for householders to dump waste at rubbish tips. 

In response to the news, Telegraph readers shared their own experiences of trying to dispose of waste properly, only to be hit with charges. Others complained of increased rates of fly-tipping in their area after charges to dump rubbish were introduced. 

Many echoed the words of Allison Ogden-Newton, the chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy, who said, in response to the news, “Helping people to legally dispose of their rubbish will reduce rather than encourage fly-tipping.” Some, however, highlighted their local tip for providing a valuable and helpful service and argued that their best practices should be adopted across the country. 

Read on for the best reader comments on the rubbish-tip tax. Have you been affected by charges to dump waste at your local rubbish tip? Share your story in the comments section below or via yourstory@telegraph.co.uk.

'Our local tips are not run by councils. There is no charge and they are well run'

@Diane Farnden

I live in Norfolk and our local rubbish tips are not run by councils.  There is no charge and they are well run.  The only restriction is to do with the height of vehicles to prevent commercial tipping, most of whom would have charged customers for waste disposal. The tip also takes large items such as white goods. The local authority also has a collection service of £10 an item with a maximum of 3 items per pick up.  Most retail companies charge customers to take away their old large appliances. A good percentage of the fly-tipping in these parts has been associated with unscrupulous commercial concerns and this seems to be on the increase.

'Going to the dump now is like going through customs'

@David Jones

I live in Buckinghamshire. I was charged for the disposal of half a small wooden step ladder because it was considered part of a "structure". Going to the dump now is like going through customs. Everything is checked.

'If hedge cuttings are not domestic waste, what are they!'

@David Burdon

This is an incredibly unfair and short-sighted exercise.

I currently pay £65 per year for two brown bins for garden waste.

When I had a hedge cut the firm cutting the hedge had to charge extra to account for the Kent County Council charge for non-domestic waste! If hedge cuttings are not domestic waste, what are they!

'Sussex is coated in fly tipping'

@Chris Antrobus

This article is a bit behind the curve, fly-tipping is rampant in the South. I changed the tyres on my wife's car and was told I could only dispose of 2 every 3 months! Promoting either a tyre burn or a tyre pile. Sussex is coated in fly-tipping from households who aren't allowed to dispose of waste for free despite paying the taxes to do it.

'Since the charges came in fly tipping in quiet country lanes and beauty spots has increased dramatically'

@Matthew Smith 

In Somerset we have had charges to tip various items for some years now and since the charges came in fly-tipping in quiet country lanes and beauty spots has increased dramatically, did anyone seriously think people who already pay high rates would pay again to dump rubbish?

Most household now put things in the black wheelie bins that should by rights go into separated recycle systems but the charges stop people doing this, it's only common sense but our councils lack basic intelligence.

'Putting barriers in the way of recycling means the environment suffers'

@richard bunning

I own a farm that is a county wildlife site. We have rare plants, birds and even brook lamprey in the stream. Since Devon started charging for using the recycling centre people have started tipping their junk down our hill and polluting the ancient woodland and water courses.

Next year we will apply for an environmental restoration grant to clean up the mess and try to prevent further damage to the habitat.The cost of this will far exceed the income the council gets from charges and so it is clear to me that charging is entirely counter productive.

Putting barriers in the way of recycling means the environment suffers because cash strapped families dump their waste in the countryside to avoid the charges.

And it's not as if the council doesn't get revenue from recycling. From the gold on circuit boards to the scrap metal value in steel, there is money to be made.

The other solution is upcycling - enabling unwanted things to be offered to other people to use rather than being chucked into landfill.

'The charges in Norfolk made me ask for a bigger bin'

@Helen Pattison

The charges in Norfolk made me ask for a bigger bin.  I couldn't believe I'd have to pay £5 to dispose of rubbish at the dump, but if I slung it in my black bin it's free.  Madness.

'Disposals costs for some building materials is higher than buying new'

@Chris Beck

Here in Bucks, disposal costs for some building materials is higher than buying new from Wickes. Burnham Beeches is a mess of fly-tipped waste and will only get worse.

'Waste disposal should be made easy in order to minimise fly tipping'

@Fraisy Lou 

New rules have just been introduced here in Monmouthshire, we have been issued with a permit, can only visit the rubbish-tip twice per month and only with what can fit in the boot of a normal car.

Queues to get in have been enormous as they now have to check that you have a permit prompting people to give up and we have noticed fly-tipping around the woods where we walk our dog has now increased quite dramatically.

What did they expect?

On roads where there are no bins, litter gets dumped on roads with bins, much less so.  It's not rocket science.

Waste disposal and recycling should be made extremely easy and accessible in order to minimise fly-tipping which just ruins the countryside for us all and must cost much more in the long term.

'Try getting a skip and the cost is eye watering'

@Mike Gilbert

Credit where it's due, the rubbish-tip at Tavistock in Devon has helpful staff and I don't mind paying the modest charges. Try getting a skip and the cost is eye watering. I bought a trailer and whenever I have a throwaway session I take it in. Well done West Devon council.

'If Hills can do it and make a profit why can't others'

@Hazel Coram 

In Devizes, the recycling centre is run by Hills Waste Ltd.  They are brilliant and so efficient. Everything has a container to put it in, even batteries.  They recycle garden waste too and you can buy the compost in bags on the way out! It does get very busy but I don't know what we would do without it.  Twice a year we cut the very long hedges and that is at least two trips to the dump to offload the hedge trimming.  

If Hills can do it and make a profit why can't others.

'The response has been a huge amount of fly-tipping all over our district'

@russell murphy 

Our North Lanarkshire Council want £25 per item to be uplifted at your door, before that we were entitled to 3 free uplifts a year, the response has been a huge amount of fly-tipping all over our district, in the long run it may cost them more to clear this up than they make from charging for uplifts.

'Everyone must accept, own and be responsible for their own trash'

@Gandalf the White

Old news. Many local authorities have been, rightfully, charging for certain items that are hard to dispose of. So they should as it means we, you and I, have to fork out council taxes for their toxic rubbish, asbestos, oils, batteries and rubble. 

Everyone must accept, own and be responsible for their own trash. This should have been done years ago, as one small act to make humans more responsible for their toxic rubbish.