Van permit scheme to reduce illegal use of Devon's household waste recycling centres

  Posted: 14.01.21 at 15:24 by Daniel Clark

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A new permit scheme is being introduced to stop businesses illegally dumping commercial waste at Devon’s recycling centres.

The free permits will be issued only to vans that are registered to private individuals living in Devon County Council’s administrative area, not commercial organisations.

The council’s cabinet unanimously agreed to adopt the scheme at its meeting on Wednesday, January 13.

Councillors were told the van permit scheme will help ensure that only Devon residents deposit their own household waste at the sites.

Once registered, 12 permits for a rolling calendar year will be issued, with each permit allowing one visit to a household waste recycling centre and useable as needed across a 12-month period.

Cllr Andrea Davis, cabinet member for waste, said: “We know the system is being abused as people are using household recycling centres for commercial waste.”

Cllr Rob Hannaford, leader of the Labour group, said he welcomed the scheme, thought the 12 permits a year to be generous, and agreed that it was right to stop the abuse of the system, as council taxpayers shouldn’t be subsiding businesses.

Cllr Alistair Dewhirst said that it was good news that people wouldn’t be charged.

How the van permit scheme works

Devon residents who have a privately registered panel van that they wish to use to access a household waste recycling site will need to register with the county council, providing copies of their Vehicle V5 Registration document and driving licence.

Each of the 12 permits issued will allow one visit to a recycling centre, and can be used as needed across a 12-month period. The system will be based on ‘QR’ codes or similar, with permits being scanned on entry, and automatically deducted from the user’s account.

Vans registered to businesses/companies/organisations, vehicles registered to addresses outside of the Devon County Council administrative area and vehicles already restricted by existing DCC policy regarding type/size will not be eligible for a permit.

Vehicles not needing permits include cars, motorcycles, bicycles, pickups, campervans, motorhomes, people carriers, motability-type vehicles and vans accessing recycling centres as part of the pre-paid trade ticket system. Vans hired to a householder from a legitimate hire company for less than three days, where appropriate documentation can be produced, will also be exempt.

Meg Booth, chief officer for Highways, Infrastructure Development and Waste, in her report to the meeting, said: “The HWRC Van Permit system seeks to further limit the amount of commercial waste deposited at the county council HWRC facilities by commercial firms, businesses and traders. If the status quo was maintained, then such use would continue at existing levels at public expense.

“The sites are provided free of charge for household waste deposited by residents only, and commercial waste should be deposited at commercial waste sites with the appropriate charges paid for that commercial waste.

“Implementing the scheme will provide a system whereby Devon residents with privately registered vans can still access HWRCs, albeit in a controlled manner. In addition, by further limiting the number of vans at HWRC sites, facilities will be less congested and will be better placed and have more capacity to serve as many residents as possible.”

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