Posted: Tue 18th Jan 2022

Abuse of staff at Flintshire recycling centres leads to permit changes

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jan 18th, 2022

The abuse of staff at recycling centres in Flintshire has led to changes being made to vehicle permits.

Flintshire Council said the level of threats towards workers at its five recycling sites in the county had been a concern for “some time”.

Confrontations are often reported when traders bring business waste to the centres, which the local authority is not allowed to accept.

Senior councillors today (Tuesday, January 18) approved a series of measures designed to provide clearer guidance on which vehicles are able to enter the sites.

A booking system is also being introduced for bulky or hazardous items, such as mattresses and asbestos.

Officials have separately announced staff will be provided with body-warn cameras to record any cases of abuse, with barriers to be installed at site entrances to prevent unauthorised access.

In a report to cabinet members, Katie Wilby, the council’s chief officer for streetscene and transportation, said: “The vehicle permit scheme can be a very emotive topic and any changes result in negative feedback from service users currently taking advantage of the system.

“The level of abuse and threats of violence to household recycling centre (HRC) staff has been highlighted previously.

“Providing a clear and concise permit criteria will support the site staff in managing non-conforming waste arriving at the site.

“The risk to the authority is reduced by eliminating trade vehicles from the sites, as the current environmental permit does not allow for trade waste to be accepted at HRCs.

“It also eliminates the risk of rogue traders, who should not be transporting commercial waste without a valid waste carriers licence, waste transfer note or waste permit.”

The changes form part of a drive to meet the Welsh Government target for Wales to recycle 70 percent of its waste by 2025.

People in Flintshire are able to access recycling centres to dispose of household waste on the condition they provide proof of their address.

Ms Wilby said large vehicles which take longer to unload would be prohibited from the sites to make using them more convenient for residents.

The booking system, which is due to be introduced from April, will also notify people when recycling containers are full to prevented wasted journeys.

The measures were unanimously backed by cabinet members at their monthly meeting.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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