Opposition councillors in Leeds call for an end to bulky waste charges

An opposition councillor in Leeds is calling on the city council to scrap its controversial charges for bulky waste.

The meeting will take place in Civic Hall.

The charges, dubbed the “DIY tax” were introduced back in February 2018 for certain materials in an attempt to cover the cost of the authority’s waste disposal sites.

But Conservative councillor Barry Anderson is bringing a motion to a vote in this week’s full Leeds City Council meeting calling on the charge to be ended altogether.

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At just one line long, the motion reads: “This Council resolves to reverse charging on bulky and inert waste with immediate effect.”

The meeting will take place in Civic Hall.

According to the rules, charges are made for disposal of building waste of between £2.60 and £4.80 per 25-litre bag. Disposal of tyres is charged at £1.50 per tyre.

The charges have long been controversial, with opponents claiming it can lead to an increase in fly-tipping.

At a full council meeting in September 2018, Pudsey councillor Mark Harrison (Con) said: “Disposing of waste at household waste sites should be free of charge, and this would help reduce fly-tipping and reduce the cost of cleaning up after the people who may try to avoid the charges.”

The council’s executive member for environment Coun Mohammed Rafique (Lab) responded by saying the charges affected relatively few instances of waste disposal, adding: “There is no charge for over 80 per cent of the waste people bring.

“The vast majority of waste can be deposited free of charge at our sites.

“Introduction of charge was never going to be popular, but the staff at the site say it has been met with broad acceptance.”

During the setting of the council’s 2019/20 budget earlier this year, the leaders of the authority’s Conservatives, Greens, and Garforth and Swillington Independents groups all proposed amendments to scrap the charges.