A local councillor has raised concerns for the environment following a change which has been made to DIY waste disposal at Connon Bridge waste centre. 

In November 2023, an amendment was made by the government to controlled waste (England and Wales) regulations 2012. 

The amendment changed the way local authorities dispose of household DIY waste items and materials – it meant that they would no longer charge for disposal and therefore will not accept certain items.

Connon Bridge Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) was one of the HWRC’s in the area that was affected by this amendment – others affected included Bodmin, Launceston, Helston and United Mines HWRC.

Since then, Cornwall Councillor Jane Pascoe, has raised concerns on behalf of residents in her division (Liskeard South and Dobwalls) who use Connon Bridge HWRC who may not be aware of this change. 

It was announced that from January 2 this year, the facility will not accept items including asbestos, plasterboard, soil, rubble, toilets, bidets, sinks and tyres. 

To dispose of this type of waste, residents will have to transport it to other HWRCs such as Saltash, St Austell or Tintagel.

Cllr Pascoe is worried that the consequence of this decision will result in an increase of fly tipping, saying that within the last week she has had emails complaining about the situation and  reports including pictures of four incidents of fly-tipping in the Dobwalls area. 

Cllr Pascoe said: “In the past I have received complaints from residents and have had to deal with fly tipping on private land. You will see from the picture that it can include all the items listed. Yes, that really was a toilet dumped in the countryside. 

“I think that it is important that facilities for household DIY waste items are easily accessible to encourage responsible disposal and more recycling. The extra mileage to other collection centres will generate longer journeys and increase emissions, which flies in the face of the climate emergency policies we are endeavouring to comply with.

 “I have been told this is for a six month trial period. If residents are concerned that it will be difficult for them to access a distant facility to dispose of their DIY waste items please make your views known to Cornwall Council, by email to [email protected] and copy me in [email protected] or call 0300 12354 100.”

Cornwall Council have since responded to the concerns, saying that they are “continuing to review the service”. 

A spokesperson from Cornwall Council explained: “Following recent changes to government legislation we stopped charging residents for getting rid of their DIY waste at our household waste recycling centres last month. 

“Because of these changes, together with our waste and recycling partner SUEZ we reviewed all our HWRCs in terms of their area populations, visitor figures and tonnage received for these materials. 

“As a result, for an initial trial period of six months from January 2, we have paused DIY waste disposal at six HWRCs. These centres are Bodmin, Connon Bridge, Pool, Helston, Launceston and United Mines.” 

Cornwall Council has stated that this trial aligns with similar actions taken by other local authorities, which have also reduced the number of sites accepting DIY waste in response to legislative changes. 

“Free DIY waste disposal is now available at eight sites across Cornwall: St Erth, Falmouth, Truro, Newquay, St Austell, Saltash, Tintagel and Bude,” a spokesperson continued “these eight consist of our six busiest sites for the receipt of DIY waste.” 

The government has advised residents who wish to dispose of DIY waste can do so for free up to a limit of two bags of soil or rubble or one sheet of plasterboard or a bulky item per week. 

A spokesperson added: “In Cornwall we are allowing free disposal of up to eight bags or four sheets of material per week to prevent multiple trips and minimise residents’ carbon footprint. 

“We will continue to review the service during this trial period and identify areas for improvement.”