Household Waste Recycling Sites

Date of Meeting:

24 November 2020

Report of:

Executive Director Economy, Environment & Culture

Contact Officer:


Lynsay Cook


01273 292448



Ward(s) affected:








1.1         There are two Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS) in Brighton & Hove; one on Wilson Avenue and one leading off Old Shoreham Road. They are operated by Veolia on behalf of the council.


1.2         This report is seeking Member approval to undertake a public consultation on proposals to introduce changes at the two HWRS; namely, to introduce charges for some types of waste and to introduce ID checks. The purpose of these measures is to ensure Brighton & Hove taxpayers are not paying for the disposal of non-Brighton & Hove waste.


2.         RECOMMENDATIONS:    


2.1         That Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee approve for a public consultation to take place on 1) introducing charges for some waste at the HWRS and 2) to implement ID checks at the HWRS.




3.1         The two HWRS in Brighton & Hove currently accept over 30 different types of materials. This includes recycling and household items, electrical items and garden waste.


Chargeable waste


3.2         Under the Environmental Protection Act (1990), Brighton & Hove City Council is required to provide residents with reasonably accessible HWRSs for the free disposal of household waste. There is no requirement to accept any waste other than a resident’s own household waste free of charge at a HWRS. In Brighton & Hove, there are several different materials already accepted for free which are not classed as household waste such as soil, hardcore, plasterboard, bonded asbestos and tyres.


3.3         The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations (2012) specify that waste from construction or demolition work is industrial waste, irrespective of where it is produced. Residents do not generate these wastes as often as general waste and recycling. Very often, these non-household wastes can be a by-product of a landscaping, repair or building project, where residents will already be investing time and effort.


3.4         Charging for a limited number of non-household waste types has been implemented by over a third of councils and would align Brighton & Hove City Council with several close neighbours such as East Sussex, Kent and Surrey. East Sussex’s charging levels of £4 per bag and £2 per tyre are in line with charges that other authorities make for these types of material from construction and demolition, are not profit making, and relate to materials that most residents do not generate on a regular basis.


3.5         When other local authorities introduced charges, concerns were raised that it would lead to an increase in fly-tipping. Incidents across East Sussex, where charging was introduced midway through 2018/19, demonstrates no link between normal fluctuating levels of fly-tipping and the changes made to the service:


Total fly-tipping incidents


















3.6         Members are asked to agree to a public consultation on the proposal to introduce charges for soil, hardcore, plasterboard, bonded asbestos and tyres.


ID checks


3.7         Presently, checks only take place for van users to ensure they are residents of the city and to ensure they are not disposing of trade waste. Introducing ID checks for all users will ensure it is only residents of Brighton & Hove using the sites. Checks routinely take place at West Sussex County Council sites.


3.8         While a November 2019 residency check identified a small number of people crossing the city boundary to use the Brighton & Hove HWRSs, it does mean our taxpayers are paying to dispose of non-Brighton & Hove residents’ waste. Another residency check exercise will take place during the consultation (if approved) to gain further data. Anecdotal feedback suggests the Hove site is busier on Mondays and Tuesdays when West Sussex’s Shoreham site is closed.


3.9         Members are asked to agree to a public consultation on the proposal to introduce ID checks at the two HWRS.




3.10      Some indicative financial modelling of the impact of charging for some types of waste at the HWRS has been carried out. Based on the same charging being adopted as East Sussex and considering similar setup and running costs, it is anticipated that savings of up to £150k per annum can be achieved. This is subject to the outcome of the consultation, further committee decisions and conversations with Veolia about how the operation will work.


3.11      Cost savings will be ringfenced in the waste PFI for increasing recycling initiatives such as plastics and food waste.

Current service provision


3.12      The HWRS remain open during lockdown, unless the instruction from government changes. Traffic management and some restrictions remain in place at Hove to manage demand at the site. It is anticipated that the introduction of ID checks will help manage demand at both sites, but particularly Hove, to ensure only residents of Brighton & Hove use the HWRS. This will enable traffic management and the restrictions to be stood down, reducing expenditure for City Environment.


Moving forward


3.13      The results of the consultation will be brought back to the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee in the spring for approval to proceed, as necessary.


3.14      Should these measures be implemented, appropriate communication will be provided to inform residents of the changes. In addition, consideration will be given to where appropriate signage can be placed in the vicinity of the HWRS.




4.1         Through the consultation, alternative proposals can be suggested.




5.1         Community engagement and consultation will be undertaken for these proposals, subject to approval by Committee. The results will be brought back to a future Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee for approval to proceed, as necessary.


6.         CONCLUSION


6.1         The two HWRS in Brighton & Hove do not currently charge for non-household waste nor undertake ID checks for all users. Members are asked to approve for a public consultation to take place on the introduction of these measures. The results will be brought back to a future Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee for approval to proceed, as necessary.




Financial Implications:


7.1         The costs associated with the recommendation of this report (which is to consult on introducing charges for some types of waste at Household Waste Recycling Sites and ID checks) will be contained within existing City Environmental Management budgets.  This will be reviewed as part of monthly budget monitoring. 


7.2         The charging for some non-household waste will not be profit making. The measures will support the council in covering the appropriate costs associated with waste disposal at the HWRSs and will help the council avoid paying for waste disposal for non-Brighton & Hove residents.


7.3         As set out in paragraph 3.10 of this report, if implemented following the outcome of consultation, the charges will generate savings of up to £150k per annum.


            Finance Officer Consulted: Jess Laing                                        Date: 09/11/2020


Legal Implications:


7.4         S51 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 imposes a duty on waste disposal authorities to provide places for residents in their area to deposit their household waste free of charge. The section provides that other types of controlled waste may be deposited at such sites “on such terms as to payment (if any) as the authority determines”.


7.5         Schedule 1 para.3 of the Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 categorises certain waste according to its nature or the activity which produces it notwithstanding the place where it is produced. One such type of waste is “Waste from construction or demolition works, including preparatory works”, which the Regulations classify as industrial waste.


            Lawyer Consulted: Hilary Woodward                                           Date: 27/10/2020


            Equalities Implications:


7.6         An equalities impact assessment will be completed for the final scheme proposed, using the results of the consultation.


            Sustainability Implications:


7.7         See paragraph 3.5 above regarding fly-tipping.


            Crime & Disorder Implications:


7.8         See paragraph 3.5 above regarding fly-tipping.


7.9         Eight mobile CCTV cameras have been installed across the city to deter people from fly-tipping. The cameras will be used to identify fly-tipping of soil, hardcore, plasterboard, bonded asbestos and tyres.










Background Documents