Permit scheme blamed for fly-tipping increase

Fly-tipping Image copyright Getty Images

A permit scheme, which bars some residents from waste sites, has been blamed for an increase in fly-tipping.

Under the scheme, residents who live close to recycling sites are given permits to dump their unwanted items, while others have to go elsewhere.

Since its launch in Reading in July, incidents of fly-tipping have gone up 20%.

The council insisted that under similar measures elsewhere fly-tipping rates had returned to normal levels.

Last year, Re3 - the recycling company which provides waste services to Bracknell, Wokingham and Reading councils - introduced a waste permit for local residents.

It allows only those living in those three areas to use waste centres in Reading and Bracknell.

'We are saving money'

Liz Terry, Reading's Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods, said the increase may not necessarily be down to the permits.

She said: "Where these changes have been introduced elsewhere there clearly has been a spike in fly-tipping initially. But over time that has levelled off and returned to normal levels.

"It is clearly depressing and frustrating that people are dumping stuff illegally. It's against the law, and we will investigate those who are doing it".

Image caption The permit allows those living in Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell to use Smallmead Recycling Centre in Whitley, Reading

Figures obtained via a Freedom of Information request show Reading Borough Council dealt with 1,656 incidents between July and December last year.

That is up from 1,364 during the same period in 2015.

"It has been horrendous over the last six months", said Alan Ashford, whose company, Meadway Travel, has become a popular spot for fly-tipping.

"There has been a marked increased in the amounts of rubbish and the difference of the rubbish, from sofas to toilets."

In July, more than 1,100 cars were turned away from Berkshire's recycling centres during the first week of changes to visitor access.

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