Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Waste Fee Variations Revealed

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Waste Fee Variations Revealed

Article excerpt

Byline: BEN O'CONNELL Local democracy reporter jnl.newsdesk@ncjmedia.co.uk

PEOPLE in the North East pay less than those in other parts of the country for bulky waste collection.

Northumberland has the highest charges in the region for the collection and disposal of items such as furniture, fridges and lawnmowers - but the fees are still far lower than elsewhere.

The local authority said its charges were relatively high because of Northumberland's large geographic and added that they did not cover the full cost of the service, which remains subsidised.

Analysis released by the BBC Shared Data Unit reveals widespread regional variations in how much people are being asked to pay, with prices ranging from just a few pounds for a single item to more than PS100 for collections of multiple items.

Pricing structures vary as well, with most local authorities charging per item, but there are other ways of charging.

Given this, the figures focus on the fairest method for comparison between different councils - the average cost of an item at first collection. By this measure, Northumberland County Council's service is the most expensive in the North East at PS16 for one item - above the English average of PS11 and regional average of PS5.40.

Other councils in the area, such as Sunderland, South Tyneside and Hartlepool, have an initial charge higher than this, but it is for multiple items, meaning the per-item cost is much lower.

There are around 50 councils nationwide whose average cost per item is higher than Northumberland's, with the highest charge being PS44, and 20 local authorities charging PS30 or more.

Only 15 out of 326 councils in England currently offer a free bulkywaste collection available to all residents.

A Northumberland County Council spokesman said: "The council's bulky waste collection service is available to all households in the county.

"The charges reflect the higher costs incurred in providing a collection service across a large geographic area, but this remains a subsidised scheme as the income generated from charges does not meet the whole costs incurred in providing the service. …

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