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Vans facing restrictions at recycling centres

25 October 2016

Drivers of vans and pick-up trucks will be faced with new restrictions at some Essex recycling centres from the end of the month.

Following operational changes announced in August, vans and commercial vehicles will not be allowed into around half of the county’s recycling centres and will face increased scrutiny of their loads at those sites which still offer access. This change will help improve capacity and reduce the amount of illegal business waste entering recycling centres in Essex.

Research undertaken by Essex County Council identified that commercial vehicles make up more than a third of recycling centre users, causing additional queuing and longer unloading times than householders in cars. 

On top of the changes for commercial vehicles, many sites will also no longer offer disposal facilities for DIY and construction waste; materials often brought in by businesses and not regarded as household waste by the law. 

Many sites will continue to receive household DIY waste, although there will be limits on the frequency on which this will be accepted. The vast majority of householders dropping off waste will be unaffected.”

The council has invested in a new automatic number plate recognition system to monitor site use. This will enable them to catch businesses who use cars as well commercial vehicles to illegally dispose of their waste. Businesses who persist with attempting to gain access may be liable to a fine of up to £50,000.

Councillor Simon Walsh, Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste said: “I want householders to have a swift and safe experience when they use our recycling centres. While the majority of traders play by the rules, the illegal use of recycling centres means that residents end up footing the bill. Removing illegal business traffic from sites will breathe new life into these facilities and improve sites for all users”.