Cost of removing bulky waste could double

A borough council may soon be raising the cost of its bulky waste collection service – with the proposed changes doubling prices over the next two years.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s (GYBC) environment committee has recommended approving a rise in charges ahead of its meeting on Wednesday.

The council operates a bulky waste collection service across the borough which collects items such as fridges, washing machines, furniture and barbecues.

It currently costs £13 to remove one item and £18.50 to remove up to three. Under the proposed changes both would increase to £25 by 2020.

The cost of removing up to six items will rise from £35 to £40 while the removal of more than six items will be dealt with by request.

In a report produced by the council’s head of environmental services, Grizelle Britton, it is stated that there was no increase in the cost of the service between 2000 and 2016, with an increase of £1 per year in the subsequent years.

Due to this the service charge is significantly lower than neighbouring authorities and the council is failing to cover its costs.

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The report states: “The fees charged by the council are out of line compared to all other districts in Norfolk and neighbouring authorities in Suffolk.”

During 2017/18 the council received £59,315 through the service; however operations actually cost £67,791.

The council is now seeking to make the service cost neutral in keeping with overall budgetary pressures.

If the council does not increase its charges it is projected it could lose around £8,000 this year alone.

Part of the problem stems from the sharp increase in people using the service. In 2015, 2,977 collections were made, while 2016 saw 3,875.

This year has again seen a significant increase with 137 collections taking place during one week in May, compared with 41 in the same week last year.

While the report acknowledges “there is a risk that the change in the charge could lead to additional fly-tipping through the borough” it goes on to explain there was no noticeable increase in fly-tipping when the charges were initially introduced in 2000.

It also suggests redesigning the council’s website to make it more user-friendly will help residents find alternative options for disposal.