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Neighbours warn of ‘uproar’ as Newham brings back bulky waste charge

PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 November 2020

Newham Council has brought back the bulky waste removal charge. Picture: Ken Mears

Newham Council has brought back the bulky waste removal charge. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Neighbours have warned that “uproar” will follow the return of the bulky waste charge.

A fridge freezer dumped in Third Avenue, Manor Park, where neighbours have campaigned for tougher action against flytippers. Picture: Iqbal HussainA fridge freezer dumped in Third Avenue, Manor Park, where neighbours have campaigned for tougher action against flytippers. Picture: Iqbal Hussain

Newham Council has brought the fee back saying the free collection service didn’t make much difference to illegal dumping levels.

However, neighbours in Manor Park campaigning for cleaner streets, have warned the move will backfire.

Simon Mares, who lives in First Avenue, said: “I know councils have to balance their books, but re-introducing a £20 charge is a false economy. All it is going to do is result in more flytipping.

“The cost of removing all that will be more than providing a free collection.”

The town hall maintains that since introducing the year-long, free service, demand increased by 200 per cent, but monitoring revealed “no discernible reduction” in flytipping.

But neighbour, Islam Noor, questioned the figure, saying it didn’t chime with his experience.

Simon added: “We were never told it was only a one year experiment.”

Newham also maintains the decision followed consultation. The choice was ratified by Cabinet on February 18, and went to full council for final approval on March 2.

But neighbour, Iqbal Hussain, questioned whether the town hall had fully informed people.

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“There will be an uproar about this,” he said.

Simon added: “I consider myself to be a reasonably informed citizen. If there had been a consultation, I would have known about it.”

The council pointed to a Keep Britain Tidy study on the effects of the introduction of bulky waste charges in the UK which concluded that “there is no robust evidence to suggest that introducing or removing a charge leads to increases or decreases in fly-tipping”.

READ MORE: Manor Park neighbours demand ‘zero tolerance’ approach to stamp out flytipping



Newham reports the free service had a negative impact on the re-use of bulky items with some charities seeing donations drop.

“With this in mind the council has withdrawn the free service as part of the three year 2020-2023 budget – which was the subject of a full consultation with residents,” a Newham spokesperson said.

She added that 85 per cent of London boroughs charge for bulky waste removal and as of October 1 collections are charged at £20 for up to six items, which is comparable with or cheaper than other boroughs.

“To claim they are doing the same as every other borough, doesn’t make it right,” Simon said.

He called for the charge to be scrapped and for enforcement to be strengthened.

“We never hear about anyone being prosecuted or taken to court,” he added.

The change is part of added council measures against flytipping, a weekly recycling service and waste reducing campaigns.


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