Council decision to cut tip opening times, including at Melton site, sparks fears of increased flytipping

A previous flytipping incident outside the household waste and recycling site in Lake Terrace, Melton EMN-151119-154010001
A previous flytipping incident outside the household waste and recycling site in Lake Terrace, Melton EMN-151119-154010001
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Opening hours at Melton’s recycling and household waste (RHWS) site on Lake Terrace will be cut from April and people will be charged for the disposal of their non-household DIY waste.

The changes are being brought in by Leicestershire County Council, at all 14 of its tips, as part of measures to achieve savings of £670,000 a year.

It means that, as of April, Melton’s Lake Terrace facility will be open for five days a week, from Thursday to Monday, 9am to 7pm, during the summer months (April to September) instead of seven days.

During the winter months (October to March) it will be open from Thursday to Monday, 9am to 4pm.

The changes to opening hours will also apply to the Somerby site.

The reduction in the tip opening times has sparked fears there will be a rise in flytipping across the county.

But County Hall bosses say they will be monitoring the situation and will work very closely with district and borough councils and the Environment Agency to minimise any adverse impacts.

Blake Pain, the council’s cabinet member for waste management, said: “When we made changes in 2013 there doesn’t seem to be any correlation between opening hour changes at our tips and an increase in flytipping. It’s pretty inconclusive that here on in there will be an impact, because of these proposals, in relation to an increase in flytipping. Flytipping is a criminal offence and we need to work with councils which are responsible for prosecution and enforcement.”

Following the feedback to its consultation and further consideration the authority has decided not to start charging residents who live outside the county for using its recycling and household waste sites. The council also scrapped a proposal to end free tipping for charities following fierce criticism.

The new charges for the disposal of DIY waste will apply to materials such as rubble, soil, concrete, fence posts, doors, plasterboard and bathroom suites.