Flytipping up after Labour introduces £16 fee

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Flytipping on Southwark’s streets has increased by 12% since the Labour council introduced a new £16 charge to collect bulky waste from residents last year.

Liberal Democrats warned the Council that the new policy would lead to more flytipping and residents are now reporting more and more incidents around the borough after Labour councillors forced through the new fee last year.

Latest figures show that in the first six months after the Council started charging residents to collect large items such as carpets, furniture and electrical goods there were 1,836 reported incidents of flytipping in Southwark.  This is a 12% increase on the same six month period the year before.

The stated aims of the bulky waste collection charge were to save the Council money and generate income.  Any Southwark resident with bulky waste would have to pay £192 each year even if they had just one item for collection each month.

Southwark Liberal Democrats oppose the bulky waste collection charge because it will:

  • lead to more flytipping on the borough’s streets and estates as people opt to dump their bulky waste rather than pay £16 each time.

  • increase the Council’s spending as flytipping will increase and costs more to clean up than scheduled street cleaning.

  • discriminate against residents without access to a car to take their bulky waste to the Old Kent Road reuse and recycling centre for free

  • hit residents on lower incomes who cannot afford £16 each time they want their bulky waste collected.

Liberal Democrats called for the planned charges to be dropped or for at least residents on lower incomes to be exempt from the charges, but the Council aims to raise £175,000 a year from the fee. 

Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson, Councillor Rosie Shimell, said:

“As predicted, Labour’s new charge for bulky waste collections has led to an increase in flytipping on Southwark’s streets.

“Everyone can see that Southwark’s streets and estates are getting dirtier. Despite our warnings though, ruling Labour councillors don’t seem to make the connection between their new fee and increased flytipping.

“Liberal Democrats will carry on fighting residents’ corner and are calling on Labour to drop the charges or at least exempt residents on lower incomes.  Keeping our streets clean should be the priority, not making money for the Council.”