Fife businesses claim they could fold under the pressure of “outrageous” new recycling charges introduced across the kingdom.
Resource Efficient Solutions, which operates recycling centres for Fife Council, told traders £500 season tickets would be scrapped from October 3 because the service was running a £500,000 loss per year.
Instead, new charges per visit would be introduced.
But landscape gardener Alex Anderson (37), a sole trader in Anstruther, estimates his bill will increase from £500 to £16,000 a year – an astonishing hike of 3100 per cent.
He said: “It’s insanity, this will ruin businesses.
“I complained and was told ‘If you think it’s going to cost you £16k a year that means we have been subsidising your business to the tune of £16k. We are a business as well. You wouldn’t want to run at a loss, why should we?’
“I was so offended! They couldn’t care.”
The letter said a review of commercial operators “strongly suggested” ticket fees did not cover disposal costs and, furthermore, there was “anecdotal evidence that unscrupulous commercial operators” were disposing of waste free of charge by posing as householders.
Mr Anderson claims unscrupulous traders will now resort to fly-tipping to survive.
He said: “People won’t stop; they just find different ways of getting around it.”
Scott Lindsay (41) who runs a home maintenance business said the charges were “a kick in the teeth” for small traders.
“I’m going to have to see where the chips fall financially but it’s not looking good. If they had gone from £500 to £2000 I could have found ways of making it work, but this is impossible,” he said.
Chris Ewing, boss at Resource Efficient Solutions said the changes would improve access to centres for householders and make sure costs of disposing business waste were covered.
“We estimate the current charging regime costs us up to £500,000 per year more than we recover in income from legitimate business users – money that could be spent on essential services – so these changes will help safeguard the public purse and cover processing costs,” he said.
“We’ve written to local businesses explaining the new arrangements and would ask anyone who has any questions to get in touch so that we can discuss any concerns.”
From October 3, traders will be restricted to using recycling centres in Dunfermline, Thornton and St Andrews only.
Prices per visit (exclusive of VAT) for van/trailer loads are as follows:
Wood – £25/£28
Green waste – £37/£41
Brick/stone/concrete – £34/£40
Subsoil – £44/£48
Dry recyclates – £19/£24
Cardboard – £19/£24
Non-recyclables – £60/£92
Fridges/ freezers – £100 per unit