From this Friday (30 September), re3 recycling centres are introducing charges for some non-household waste.
Visitors will have their waste assessed on arrival at the Bracknell and Reading recycling centres, and will be charged for soil and rubble, plasterboard, asbestos and gas bottles. Household waste will still be accepted without charge.
Councils are not legally obliged to take non-household waste at recycling centres and the re3 partner local authorities, faced with the same far-reaching budget cuts being felt by councils nationwide, have taken the decision to charge for some non-household waste.
The charges are non-profit making and have been calculated as a way to cover the expense of processing these materials. Without charging for them, the estimated cost of re3 accepting them for free in 2016/17 is £915,000.
Chargeable non-household waste includes waste materials created from home improvements such as rubble and plasterboard, soil from landscaping activities and asbestos from renovations. These are not the everyday type of materials more often deposited by re3 area residents at the recycling centres, and re3 will continue to accept all other household waste without charge including garden waste, white goods, large and small electrical items, wood, bric-a-brac and bulky household waste such as furniture, carpets and mattresses. Items that are brought in and still in good condition are donated to Sue Ryder to fundraise for hospice care.
For more information on what is accepted at re3 recycling centres, please visit the re3 website.
Bracknell Forest's executive member for environment and chairman of the joint waste disposal board, Cllr Mrs Dorothy Hayes MBE said: "By introducing these charges, we are bringing the re3 recycling centres in line with what is happening at council-run recycling facilities elsewhere. Our goals are clear; to make essential waste management savings while continuing to provide the best value for money service."
Reading Borough Council’s lead councillor for neighbourhoods, Cllr Liz Terry said: "Another reason for introducing these new charges is to provide a deterrent to those firms who try to dump trade waste for free at the recycling centres, while still offering an accessible service to residents who want to dispose of occasional non-household waste."
Wokingham Borough Council's executive member for environment Cllr Angus Ross said: "re3 has carefully calculated the charges so that they are non-profit making but cover processing costs.
"The charges represent good value compared to skip hire or contracting an authorised waste disposal company, although those options are still available to residents who prefer to use them rather than bringing their non-household waste to the re3 recycling centres."
A full list of charges is available in re3’s Waste Acceptance Policy (PDF document).