CAMPAIGNERS fear new charges to dump waste are too confusing and will lead to more fly-tipping across the Portsmouth region.
Hampshire and Portsmouth’s local authorities have ruled people must now pay to get rid of their DIY waste.
One of the issues is people don’t know what they can put in their bins, and what they can dump for free; there is so much more confusion now.Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt
The fees – which include charges to dispose of soil and rubble, plasterboard, and cement-bonded asbestos – came into force on Saturday.
But critics say authorities are not being specific enough, nor clear over what waste remains to be free of charge.
One baffled Havant woman spoke to The News after her husband was told to pay £2.50 to dispose of two broken lamps at Havant Household Waste Recycling Centre – because they were classified by workers as ‘rubble’.
She said: ‘I bought two lamps from eBay, they arrived in the box but sadly were completely smashed. So my husband took them with some other rubbish we needed to get rid of to the tip. But they were deemed to be rubble, so he had to pay £2.50. It just beggars belief.’
After complaining to Hampshire County Council, the woman says she was told there were ‘teething problems’ with the new charging policy and he would get his money back.
But she added: ‘The confusion could lead to more people fly-tipping.
‘If we weren’t going to the tip anyway, we could have just smashed the lamps up a bit more and put them in the bin and the bin men wouldn’t have known any different.’
Meanwhile, Central Southsea Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt has also raised concerns after coming across a brown two-seater sofa and bags of dumped rubbish in Collingwood Road, as well as a freezer outside the former Liberal Club in Duncan Road.
Cllr Hunt said: ‘It’s appalling.
‘One of the issues is people don’t know what they can put in their bins, and what they can dump for free; there is so much more confusion now.
‘People don’t know what to recycle, and what they can take to the tip.
‘And let’s face it, if it costs £6 to buy a piece of plasterboard and £10 to get rid of it, people will just leave it outside their door quietly one night.’
Hampshire County Council has said applying a small charge allows household waste recycling centres to continue taking DIY waste, and charges are intended to cover the cost of disposal only and not to make any profit.
Portsmouth Tory environment boss, Cllr Rob New, has said not following the county’s lead would have put more demand on the Port Solent tip.