Bin charge not helping

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It was encouraging to read that Sunderland City Council is trying to clamp down on the dodgy waste disposal firms fly-tipping across the city (Echo, October 22). About time too.

However, I can’t help but feel that part of this £250,000 problem is of the council’s own making. In 2013, Labour councillors introduced a £15 charge for the collection of bulky items.

I have little doubt that this £15 charge makes people more likely to fly-tip waste, or to use cheaper and sometimes disreputable ‘trash for cash’ merchants instead. If you don’t have a car to go to the tip, and can’t afford the £15 charge for a bulky waste collection, you are left with few options. Even if you know someone with a small van that could help you take your waste to the tip, you have to pay for a permit to take any vehicle that isn’t a car.

What’s more, I fear that the announcement from the council that they will charge £25 a year to empty the brown wheelie bins will lead to an increase in the fly-tipping of garden waste as people choose to avoid paying this ‘brown bin tax’.

Fly-tipping in Millfield could surely be reduced if the council let pedestrians use the nearby tip on Beach Street alongside B&Q. People who don’t have a car would then be able to take their rubbish to be recycled or otherwise disposed of.

The council should be making it easier for residents to recycle and get rid of waste responsibly. Instead, the £15 bulky waste collection charge and forthcoming £25 brown bin charge are making it harder for residents to do the right thing.

The council needs to do more to encourage responsible recycling, and this seems a step backwards.

Niall Hodson,

Millfield and Thornholme

Liberal Democrats

It was encouraging to read that Sunderland City Council is trying to clamp down on the dodgy waste disposal firms fly-tipping across the city (Echo, October 22). About time too.