New measures to stop illegal use of Fife recycling centres

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New measures, designed to minimise the illegal disposal of commercial waste, are being introduced at Fife’s Waste Recycling Centres from January 2018.

The new measures being brought in by Fife Council’s environmental team, is a bid to halt commercial operators from disposing of waste without having purchased a relevant Recycling Permit.

The council says the disposal of such waste, as well as being illegal, puts a burden on local council tax payers and impacts on the council’s ability to provide efficient services.

From January, height barriers will be installed at all of the recycling centres.

Any vehicle, which is over 1.9 metres high, will have to stop at the site entrance, until met by a member of staff.

Staff may ask to see a valid permit, if it is believed that the vehicle is carrying commercial waste.

Automatic number plate recognition technologyis also to be introduced at the sites which captures and stores the registration number of vehicles, so that the use being made of the sites by any one vehicle can be monitored.

There are also plans to launch an electronic permit system, which will enable commercial users to make use of the sites more easily simply by swiping the card.

And in some instances a household waste declaration form and, in such cases, proof of address, such as a household bill or driving licence, will be required.

Councillor Ross Vettraino, Environment, Protective Services and Community Safety Committee convener, said: “The current misuse of the sites by commercial users creates legal and financial consequences for the council.

“For example, in financial year 2016/17, it cost the council £1.96 million to dispose of the commercial waste, which was deposited at the recycling centres, but only £94,000 of income was generated from the sale of recycling permits, which means that it cost the council tax payers in Fife £1.87 million to subsidise the disposal of commercial waste in that year.

“The council, therefore, simply had to look at ways to eliminate that subsidy, as neighbouring local authorities have done.

“The people of Fife have embraced recycling and have kept Fife at the leading edge of recycling in Scotland for many years.”

He added: “It is important that they do not foot the bill for those commercial operators, who are illegally making use of the waste disposal service.”