Fife dumps controversial ‘pay-per-load’ recycling charges

Fife Resource Solutions went back to the drawing board .
Fife Resource Solutions went back to the drawing board .

Controversial pay-per-load recycling plans due to be introduced last year have been officially dumped, Fife Council has announced.

The scheme, which would have scrapped commercial recycling permits, came under fire after some small businesses claimed pay-per-load would see their costs rise by an ‘insane’ 3100 per cent.

In a statement issued today it was revealed that, following a four-month review, the council’s arms length recycling association - Fife Resource Solutions - would be “significantly revising“ the planned changes.

Council Leader Cllr David Ross said: “The current arrangements for the recycling of trade waste don’t meet the full costs of disposal, and there is evidence that some commercial operators are abusing the system to avoid charges.

”FRS previously proposed to put new arrangements in place last October that would have seen a booking system for householders with vans or trailers, the recycling of trade waste limited to three centres across Fife and the introduction of a pay-by load-charging scheme, among other measures.

“However serious concerns about this new system were raised by both commercial operators and household users of the recycling centres.”

He added: “I am pleased to say that, following discussions between Council officers and FRS, a much revised approach is now being developed. This will leave most of the current arrangements in place, whilst tightening up on the existing permit and charging arrangements. Importantly, this new approach will also address concerns about staff safety.”

“A further detailed options appraisal will be carried out with a view to moving towards full costs recovery for the disposal of trade waste, but taking into account the issues raised by household and commercial users.”

A phased introduction of commercial waste changes will be implemented and recycling permits will be available to purchase for a six-month period starting in April 2017.

Chris Ewing, Chief Operating Officer of FRS, said: “We are reviewing options for implementing full cost recovery for the disposal of trade waste at our sites.

We are analysing how best to meet the needs of our genuine customers as well as reduce the number of people, or businesses, abusing the current system. This involves consulting with customers and businesses.”

FRS intends to crack down on abusers of the system by considering use of automatic number plate recognition and the introduction of chip and pin payments for commercial waste.

Measures also include recycling permit checks on vans entering all household waste recycling centres and data capture of vehicles.