HWRCs are provided for householders to dispose of their waste from their own home, safely and conveniently for free.
Unfortunately, some traders use the HWRCs to illegally dispose of their commercial waste, leaving the Northamptonshire tax payers to foot the bill for tens of thousands of pounds for its disposal.
Not only is there a financial cost to the tax payer, there are legal and Duty of Care implications too. In Northamptonshire, five of the nine HWRCs have a licence stating they are for the disposal of household waste only. This licence is issued by the Environment Agency (EA) who regularly monitor waste being taken to the sites. If commercial waste is found to be being disposed of at these sites under the pretence that it is of a household nature, it is possible that the Environment Agency could revoke the HWRC licence and the site would have to close.
As well as potentially putting these site's licences at risk, the depositing of trade waste at the HWRC sites is a criminal offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and could result in a £50,000 fine and / or two years imprisonment for the offender.
Another implication of unauthorised trade disposal, is the added waiting times for legitimate site users, by increasing traffic and congestion for householders.
E-permit schemes are a nationally recognised method of regulating commercial waste tipping, and therefore helping the Council to meet its Duty of Care requirements. Commercial vehicles are more likely to be carrying trade waste than a standard car and by introducing the e-permit scheme, it limits the number of times vans can use the sites, whilst still allowing residents the convenience of using any van or large trailer that they have access to.
The Council's designated, licenced trade waste sites are Ecton, Sixfields, Rushden and Kettering HWRCs.