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Household Waste

Volume 553: debated on Monday 12 November 2012

12. What initiatives his Department has put in place to support access by householders to municipal rubbish and recycling centres. (127623)

We are committed to the principle that householders have access to municipal rubbish and recycling centres where they can deposit waste and recycling without charge. The Department’s £250 million weekly collection support scheme will, where appropriate, support local authorities to invest in infrastructure, including municipal rubbish and recycling centres.

I welcome that statement. Does my right hon. Friend understand that Kent county council is preventing council tax payers from accessing their waste recycling centres if they drive a privately owned pick-up truck, or a car decorated with advertisements for a company of any description? That Soviet-like diktat means that private motorists who possess only a pick-up truck are prevented from disposing of legitimate household waste, as are employees of companies that do not generate trade waste, such as driving school instructors. Does he agree with those policies?

I am most grateful to my hon. Friend. Up until this point, I had never seen Kent county council as cigar-chomping commies, but I will certainly pass his remarks on to the leader of the council. Councils have a legal duty to provide a civic amenity site for households free of charge for local residents. It is in a council’s interest to offer those services to reduce fly-tipping and increase recycling. We oppose tip taxes. Indeed, it was the previous Government, a Labour-run Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that actively considered introducing charging households as part of their bin tax agenda. We have consigned Labour’s bin tax to the dustbin of history.