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NEW charges for disposing of some household waste could lead to an increase in fly-tipping according to a concerned countryside expert.
Planned charges, announced by Surrey County Council on November 24, mean the disposal of tyres, large gas bottles and larger loads of non-household waste such as rubble and plasterboard will now incur a charge at public recycling centres.
On top of that, opening hours of the county’s 15 Community Recycling Centres, including sites in Dorking and Leatherhead, are also set to change, leading to suggestions the council is not doing enough to prevent fly-tipping.
The problem has increased in the district in recent months and Surrey Police launched an operation dedicated to targeting those who are blighting the countryside with abandoned waste.
National Trust countryside manager Andrew Wright said: “Fly tipping really is a major problem in Surrey, we spend £20,000 a year clearing up fly tipping in the county, and I would estimate at least half of that has to be spent in Mole Valley.
“There are always going to be some people who will look to save themselves £50, or whatever the cost is, by dumping their waste in a secluded car park somewhere.
“I think the council could do more to combat the problem. I understand that there needs to be charge for waste disposal, waste doesn’t just disappear for free, but it would be nice if the money raised was used to employ fly-tipping prevention officers.”
Mr Wright warned that the people he feels most sorry for are those who pay a company to take their waste away only to find it is then dumped, which can leave them facing large fines.
Surrey County Council has said that the planned changes are intended to recoup the £1.3million annual cost to Surrey taxpayers of disposing of waste materials.
They were drawn up following an 11-week consultation with Surrey residents.
Mike Goodman, the council’s cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “We have listened to what people have told us and while we need to make savings due to the huge financial pressures we face, we have been able to put forward proposals which maintain a full network of Community Recycling Centres.
“By fitting opening hours around demand we will achieve better value for money from these centres and ensure we continue to offer a high-quality service.”
Some centres will close for one day per week but is not yet known if opening hours at Mole Valley’s two Community Recycling Centre’s are set to change.