Posted: Mon 17th Jan 2022

Councillors set to approve changes to Flintshire recycling centre vehicle permits and booking system for ‘difficult materials’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jan 17th, 2022

Senior councillors in Flintshire’s Cabinet will be asked to approve the revised Vehicle Permit Policy and the booking system criteria for Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) when they meet on Tuesday.

Last year a number of recommendations were presented to the council’s cabinet on changes to be made to the current waste strategy in order for the council to achieve 70% recycling by 2025.

Wales aims to become a zero-waste nation by 2050 to help it get there, the Welsh Government has set a target for councils to recycle 70 percent of its waste by 2025.

Flintshire council’s waste strategy is to re-use, recycle and compost as much recoverable waste as is practicable at it’s Household Recycling Centres (HRCs).

One such recommendation has been to revisit the current HRC vehicle permit scheme criteria.

The council says a “permitting scheme is the fairest way to ensure that residents can use their own vehicles to visit the HRC sites, whilst deterring unlawful use by traders.”

Council members had expressed concerns that the current vehicle permit criteria were ambiguous and could be left to interpretation, which could create confusion for service users.

Each household in Flintshire paying standard council tax is entitled to use the Council’s HRCs to dispose of their own domestic household waste.

Only Flintshire residents will be permitted to use Flintshire HRC sites.

In order to control this, it is proposed that we retain the current system of requesting proof of residency in Flintshire, which we introduced during the pandemic in order to comply with the Test and Trace requirements and ensure that only Flintshire residents continue to use the sites.

HRC staff have also highlighted that the current permitting system unintentionally allows traders and commercial businesses to exploit the system and bring in trade waste, which they are not permitted to accept.

When questioned or challenged by staff, “some of these customers can become abusive and violent leading to unpleasant working environments.” The council has said in a report ahead of a meeting on Tuesday.

In the report to Cabinet, it was proposed that the vehicle permitting criteria should be reviewed in order to make it clearer to service users what types and sizes of vehicles should or should not be issued with a permit and to ensure that traders do not abuse the system.

Cabinet has already approved an earlier report proposing these changes, but a further report was requested to give more clarity on how the changes would be implemented.

The main points of the proposed Vehicle Permit Criteria Policy are as follows:

  • The policy details the vehicle scheme criteria;
  • Clear classification of those vehicles that do not require a permit, those that do require a permit and those that are not eligible for a permit;
  • All trailers, irrelevant of size will now require a permit;
  • Size restrictions have been placed on vehicles and trailers that are eligible for a permit, due to the limited space available on HRC sites and the additional time taken to unload larger vehicles and trailers, which can impact access for householders, particularly at peak times of the day;
  • The application process and required documentation is clearly detailed;
  • Those who repeatedly fail to provide the correct documentation in support of their application for a permit will be refused a permit and a timescale set for reapplication;
  • Permits will be issued for one specific HRC site to improve control and access to the site;
  • A one-off permit will be introduced for those who have a business/sign written vehicle who want to dispose of household waste;
  • The temporary permit criteria is clearly defined;
  • The policy details that abuse of the scheme will not be tolerated and that permits can be revoked for non-compliance.

The booking system to be introduced for difficult materials or waste streams (initially for asbestos and mattresses) will consist of:

  • A requirement to book online in advance of the visit
  • A restriction on the volume of waste being brought to site during the visit
  • A restriction on the number of visits per year
  • A timeslot to be given for the disposal time
  • If being brought in a van/trailer then a valid permit will be required to book
  • Details of which site will accept the waste stream
  • Details of which days are available for disposal

Flintshire’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene, Councillor Glyn Banks, said:

“The Council’s waste strategy is to re-use, recycle and compost as much recoverable waste as we can at our HRCs.  These new systems will help us to do this as well as helping to streamline residents’ visits to HRC sites.  We are proposing to introduce them from April 2022.”

 

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