PEOPLE across the Portsmouth area are being forced to pay some of the country’s highest charges for councils to dispose of bulky household waste, it is today being revealed.
The news has come to light following a nationwide study which unveiled the ‘postcode lottery’ faced by residents when it came to getting rid of large items like cookers and fridges via council-run collection services.
Experts have said the system is confusing for residents, which in some cases has seen people in neighbouring streets – but that sit within the boundaries of two separate council authorities – paying different charges to have the same goods removed.
And the data has revealed Fareham Borough Council and Havant Borough Council are in the top ten of the most expensive councils in England for bulky waste.
The average cost to collect the first item of bulky waste by councils in England is £11.
However, Fareham Borough Council – which was rated the fifth most-expensive authority – charges £37 for one item, with the costs rising to £82 for half-a-lorry load and £145 for a full lorry.
Havant, which sits joint 10th, charges £31 per item or £46 for oversized goods.
Residents now fear the expensive charges are leading to more people illegally fly-tipping waste across the area’s country roads .
Samantha Mills, of Paulsgrove, felt the bulky waste charge system needed to be overhauled.
The mother-of-seven, who is a staunch anti- fly-tipping campaigner, said: ‘I think every council needs to have the same charge because it is unfair depending on where you live how much you should pay.
‘In Paulsgrove the council used to come and pick up rubbish once a month for free from people but they stopped that and now fly-tipping has increased massively.
‘People can't afford the prices to dump it so either fly-tip it or pick a cheap option – and then they are not registered and dump it.
‘I think councils should decrease their prices and be the same wherever you live to solve the problem and make it fair.’
The figures, revealed by the BBC, show residents in the south-east pay the most for bulky waste removal while those living in the north of England pay the least.
The average sum paid for those in the south-east to remove the first item of rubbish is £16,60, while in the north-east it’s as low as £5.40.
Portsmouth City Council’s basic charge is £30, which covers as many items as will fill up to one cubic metre, and then it is £15 per cubic metre.
Fridge freezers (£30) and American style fridge freezers (£45) are charged as a flat fee.
A spokeswoman said: ‘Residents pay for the costs associated with collection (ie people's time to provide quotes, arrange payment, book collections and the time to collect). The council covers the additional costs of disposal.’
To get costs for bulky waste removal, Portsmouth residents can call 023 9284 1105 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gosport Borough Council has different rules, charging £25 for one item, £40 for two and them £60 for between three and five items.
Professor Ian Williams, professor of applied environmental science and associate dean (enterprise) at the University of Southampton, said the system was ‘confusing’, adding: ‘Ideally, there should be one country-wide system for bulky waste collection. The trouble is that every local authority has their way of doing it and politics comes in here.’