Changes to the household waste recycling sites

What changes have been made?

We have made the following changes to our household waste recycling sites from Monday 1 October 2018:
• Charging to dispose of soil, hardcore, plasterboard, bonded asbestos and tyres.
• Closing Forest Row and Wadhurst household waste recycling sites on a permanent basis.
• Changing opening hours at Lewes and Mountfield recycling sites to 9am to 4pm, every day.

Why has the council made these changes?

Reductions in Government funding have meant East Sussex County Council has had to cut £17m from its budget this year, affecting council services throughout the county including the household waste recycling sites.

We carried out a review of our household waste recycling site service in 2017 and recommended service changes to help us make significant savings to the waste budget.

A public consultation held in spring 2018 considered these savings options and the results were included in a report for Cabinet Members to consider. The changes to the household waste site service were then agreed by the council’s Cabinet at their meeting on 26 June 2018.

Which sites have closed?

The Forest Row and Wadhurst household waste recycling sites closed permanently on Sunday 30 September 2018.

Where are my nearest alternative recycling sites?

East Sussex residents can use any of our 10 household waste recycling sites.

The nearest alternative East Sussex household waste recycling sites to Forest Row are the Crowborough and Maresfield sites.

The nearest alternative East Sussex household waste recycling sites to Wadhurst are the Crowborough, Heathfield or Mountfield sites.

Why has the council closed recycling sites?

The Forest Row and Wadhurst sites had on average fewer visitors per hour of opening than all the other sites and were relatively more expensive to run.

A 2017 review of the household waste recycling sites showed that if these sites closed, the visitors and waste could be accepted at nearby sites. Over 98 per cent of East Sussex residents are still able to reach a site within a 20 minute drive of their home.

Why am I being charged to dispose of certain wastes?

Soil, hardcore, plasterboard, bonded asbestos and tyres are not classed as household waste and are expensive for the council to dispose of. The council does not have to accept this non-household waste for free. Around half of councils now charge for these items.

Applying charges allows us to continue accepting these waste types from residents at the recycling sites. The charges cover the cost of waste disposal and operating the scheme, they are not to make profit.

What are the charges?

The charges to dispose of non-household waste types are as follows (cash and card payment options are available on site):

Soil
• £4 per bag
• Maximum bag size 55cm x 85cm (ie a standard rubble type sack)
• Part bags will be charged as whole
• For loose loads, an equivalent number of bags will be estimated by site staff
• Accepted at all sites.

Hardcore
• £4 per bag
• Maximum bag size 55cm x 85cm (ie a standard rubble type sack)
• Part bags will be charged as whole
• For loose loads, an equivalent number of bags will be estimated by site staff
• Charged £4 per item for formed concrete and ceramic bathroom ware e.g. toilets and sinks
• Includes (but is not limited to) stonework, sand, gravel, rock, clay, bricks, concrete blocks, paving slabs, tarmac, tiles and ceramic bathroom fittings
• Accepted at all sites.

Plasterboard
• £4 per bag or sheet
• Maximum bag size 55cm x 85cm (ie a standard rubble type sack)
• Maximum sheet size 1800mm x 900mm
• Part bags or part sheets will be charged as whole
• Accepted at Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hastings and Newhaven sites only.

Bonded Asbestos
£6 per bag or sheet
• Maximum bag size 55cm x 85cm (ie a standard rubble type sack)
• Part bags or part sheets will be charged as whole
• Only cement bonded asbestos is accepted
• Limited to 6 bags or 4 sheets per calendar month, per household
• Accepted at Eastbourne, Hastings, Heathfield and Newhaven sites only
• Bonded asbestos brought to these sites must be double bagged and sealed, or wrapped in plastic and sealed. Staff will take a record of the resident’s name, address and vehicle registration so that the amounts brought to the sites can be monitored to help prevent abuse of the policy and ensure Council Tax payers money is not used to dispose of any trade waste.

Tyres
£2 per tyre (or part tyre)
• Limited to 4 tyres per calendar month, per household
• Accepted at Eastbourne, Hastings, Lewes, Maresfield and Newhaven sites only.

The above waste types should not be mixed together.

If you have large quantities of these types of waste, you can consider alternatives such as hiring a skip, buying a Hippo bag, or using a waste disposal company. Our sites are not designed to accept large quantities of these types of waste.

There will be no charges for residents to dispose of household wastes such as green garden waste, electricals, furniture, crockery, clay flowerpots, recycling and general waste.

The waste must be from your own home. Waste from traders/businesses is not accepted at any of our household waste recycling sites.

The waste can only be accepted at our sites if the work has been carried out/removed by the householder themselves. Where residents use a contractor to do works at their property the contractor must arrange for the disposal of the waste either by arranging a skip hire or taking it to a licensed commercial waste facility.

Will I be charged for other waste types at the sites?

There is no charge for residents to dispose of household wastes such as green garden waste, electricals, furniture, crockery, clay flowerpots, recycling and general waste.

Can traders pay for trade waste disposal at the sites?

No, waste from businesses is not allowed into any of our recycling sites. It is illegal to dispose of business waste through facilities provided for householders, including: household kerbside collection bins, street bins, recycling banks or recycling centres.

Why has the council cut opening hours at the Lewes and Mountfield sites?

Traffic monitors at these sites showed us that 9am-4pm is when most people visit these sites. There was less demand from 8am-9am and 4pm-5pm when the sites were previously open. Closing during quieter times reduces our costs so from 1 October 2018 we have changed the opening hours to 9am-4pm every day, all year round.

Could the changes cause more fly-tipping?

Based on our previous experience and evidence from other local councils, we do not expect fly-tipping to increase in the County, but we are closely monitoring the situation.

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence. Punishment for anyone convicted of fly-tipping may include an unlimited fine and up to 5 years’ imprisonment. We want to prevent fly-tipping, but believe that the severity of these punishments is enough to deter most people from committing offences.

Waste must not be left outside the household waste recycling sites, they are under constant surveillance by CCTV.

What should I do if I pay someone to take my rubbish?

The law says that if you have rubbish removed by somebody and it ends up being fly-tipped, you could be held responsible and fined. You should ask anyone you pay to take away your rubbish for a receipt as well as their ‘waste carrier number’ to make sure they are licensed to transport waste.

Check it on the Environment Agency’s ‘waste carriers register’

Or by calling the Environment Agency on 03708 506506.

Can I burn household rubbish?

Household rubbish or anything containing plastic, rubber, foam, paint or preservatives should not be burnt. Toxic fumes can be created which cause air pollution and harm people’s health. Bonfires are not a safe, environmentally-friendly way of getting rid of rubbish.

What if I need help with my rubbish collection?

If any of the following apply to you and you feel you need help:
• You have difficulty placing your refuse containers at the boundary of your property because you are disabled or less mobile.
• You’re in a household of more than five people and you’re recycling everything you can but can’t fit all your rubbish in your bin.
• Your household produces extra rubbish due to medical reasons and you can’t fit it all in your bin.
See: Rubbish and recycling collections from your home for your local District or Borough council website links.

What if I have more recycling than I can fit in my container?

You can place it in clear plastic bags by the side of your recycling container, but not in a black sack. Find out more about recycling.

What about home composting?

To find out about home composting and great value compost bins for residents, see: Composting at home.

What are my options for disposing of hardcore, soil, asbestos, garden waste or bulky items?

Please do not put any of these items into household waste bins in East Sussex:
soil, hardcore, asbestos, bulky items and electricals, garden waste, or hazardous chemicals.

Please take them to your nearest household waste recycling site. Your local borough or district council also provides these separate collection services:

• Garden waste collection (may be charged for).
• Paid bulky waste collection for larger items.

To find our more, see: Rubbish and recycling collections from your home.

If you have large quantities of waste, you could consider hiring a skip, buying a Hippo bag or using a waste disposal company.

If you have unwanted furniture or electrical items in reasonable condition, local charities may be able to re-use them, some of which offer a collection service. See: Furniture re-use and recycling.