DIY Waste Charges: an update from County Hall

At the last meeting of Norfolk County Council, Labour Councillor Terry Jermy asked when the government’s ban on charging for DIY waste at recycling centres would come into force. Here’s the response he (and other County Councillors) have been given. It doesn’t directly answer the question but the bit at the end indicates where it is heading.

From: Joel Hull
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2023 2:41 PM
Subject: Recycling Centres – DIY Waste

Hello Terry – I hope this email proves useful in relation to your questions about DIY waste and the recent Government proposal on this in relation to recycling centres.

Basically, further clarity from Government is awaited on the implementation, detail and timing of its proposal, which is not a ban on charging but a limit on what should be accepted for free from householders.

If it goes ahead as planned then in short it would be a non-funded new requirement for councils across the country, which could cost the County Council around £0.5m to £1m a year – depending on the detail of the new requirements and how customers respond to any required change.

Furthermore it is not a policy change that I would expect to have a notably significant effect on fly-tipping incident numbers, that’s a view informed by the findings of a national investigation by waste charity Wrap on charging and fly-tipping, which established ‘no evidence of an association between fly-tipping and charging at HWRCs’: The relationship between fly-tipping rates and HWRC charging | WRAP

And to help here is more detail and context for reference:

  1. On Sunday 18 June Government set out its plans on how DIY waste at recycling centres is going to be addressed via ‘changes that will be brought in to force this year’ (details here and here Summary of responses and government response – GOV.UK (
  2. The changes are expected to specify that, in relation to small-scale projects undertaken by householders, there would be:
    1. ‘free disposal of DIY waste up to two 50L rubble bags (or one bulky or fitted item no larger than 2,000mm by 750mm by 700mm, the approximate size of a bathtub or shower screen)’
    2. ‘at a frequency of 4 visits per household over a 4-week period’
  1. The new requirements are expected to be made via changes to existing legislation (the Controlled Waste Regulations 2012).
  2. Government clarified that new funding will not be provided to councils to deal with the extra costs of this change to legislation, with DLUHC deciding ‘that local authorities that currently charge householders to dispose of DIY waste will be required to absorb any associated costs’.

Best regards and please let me know if you need or would appreciate more.

Joel Hull, Assistant Director – Waste and Water Management Community and Environmental Services Department