A COUNCIL that is set to introduce charges for hardcore and rubble at its recycling centres says it is unlikely to spark an upsurge in fly-tipping.

North Yorkshire County Council said it aims to save £330,000 a year by charging residents for taking the waste at its 20 recycling sites, as part of a drive to cut £170m from its budget by 2020.

The authority, which has provided the service free since 1992, said it regretted having to charge £2.50 per 25kg bag of rubble, but was implementing the fees to preserve its other services, many of which it must legally provide.

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Charges are being introduced from August 4 and will see contractors Kier and Yorwaste weighing materials ranging from ceramics, such as sinks, to sand, soil and window glass.

Restrictions on the amount of rubble and hardcore customers can bring onto sites is to be lifted.

At the same time, the authority will extend the number of household waste sites that take commercial waste for a charge from the Northallerton and Harrogate sites to all its centres.

The authority also said it hoped extending the times when commercial customers can deliver their waste to site opening hours would encourage recycling and provide a cost effective and local disposal option, reducing fly tipping.

The introduction of charges follows a consultation exercise in which residents stated they did not want to be charged for rubble and hardcore disposal, but would rather pay a fee at sites than have to seek an alternative such as hiring a skip.

Tony Norris, the authority’s waste services manager, said it was encouraging residents to find alternative uses for soil and rubble to landscape another area of their properties or to offer it to farmers to fill in tracks.

He said: “There is always a demand for this sort of material.

“We have made other changes before, such as restricting the amount of construction waste, and haven’t seen an increase in the amount being fly-tipped or put in household waste bins.

“We are always concerned about fly tipping, but thankfully it is not a huge problem in North Yorkshire.

“People choose to live here because it is a beautiful place to live and don’t want to spoil it.”

For details about what waste types are accepted free of charge and fees, visit northyorks.gov.uk/hwrc or northyorks.gov.uk/commercialwaste