Businesses across Fife are to be charged every time they visit a Fife Council tip as the cash strapped local authority bids to save £2m.
The new enforcement measures, which are to be introduced in February 2019, replace the existing £600 per year recycling permit, and will result in businesses being charged for every van and trailer loads of waste.
The council has argued that the existing permit scheme, which brought in £67,560 in the last year, does not meet the £1.9m true cost of disposing of the commercial waste via landfill.
It’s also a bid to stop some businesses running in commercial waste as domestic in order to avoid charges.
The new charges for commercial use range from £150.51 for large trailers of landfill waste, to no charge for metal. A sliding scale of charges for green waste, wood, paper, soil and stone will also be applied.
But some commercial operators say the new scheme will force businesses away from recycling and will lead to an increase in fly tipping.
“The permit scheme resulted in a huge rise in instances of flytipping, as the council later admitted, and this new legislation will just make it a whole lot worse,” said Kenny Lonie, owner of Kirkcaldy-based waste disposal firm Cutbacks.
“The charges will drive some firms, including my own, out of business because of the massive hike in charges.
As part of the new scheme. individuals running in domestic waste to council recycling centres in vans or trailers will have to fill in a declaration form and will be subject to manual checks to ensure no commercial waste is being disposed of.
Commenting on the charges, Cllr Ross Vettraino, environment committee convener, said: “The charges are actual costs, and do not include any element of profit.
“It should also be noted that there are over a dozen private waste disposal companies operating in Fife, so those who produce commercial waste can ‘shop around’.
“By failing to recover full costs, the council is effectively subsidising some businesses and is distorting competition by enabling those businesses to lower their customer charges, compared with businesses that pay full commercial waste disposal costs.
“Fife Council wants to continue to assist local businesses, but this can only be done if full costs are recovered.
“These changes are ensuring that we’re supporting our local businesses fairly.”