Release Date: 17/08/2012
Richmond Council has announced how it plans to respond to new Government legislation that schools and charities are now liable for waste collection charges.
In March the Government published plans for various waste producers, including schools and charities, to pay for their waste collection and disposal costs.
Over the past 18 months, as part of the Council’s review of charges, the Council consulted with local schools on how best to approach these anticipated changes. These schools and colleges will be charged the cost of waste collection and the Council will continue to bear the costs of waste disposal. Recycling collections will remain free. In addition, in order to minimise the charges to schools, all will be offered an individual waste audit – identifying how schools can reduce their costs by recycling as much as possible. These changes will be an added incentive for all to recycle.
The Government now defines independent schools differently from local authority schools. Independent schools are now classified as commercial and will be charged for both waste and recycling collections. However the Council will assist them to minimise charges by carrying out a site visit to advise them how they can reduce their bill by recycling as much as possible.
Among other areas impacted by the Government changes in regulation are charity offices in the borough. While charity shops will continue to receive free waste and recycling services, offices will have to start paying for collection and disposal.
To ease the transition, the Council has agreed to phase in these charges from April 2013. Smaller charities who receive Small Business Rate Relief will be eligible for a substantial discount.
Cllr Virginia Morris, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Environment at Richmond Council, said:
“From April this year the Government recategorised waste producers into household, commercial or industrial. As part of this they agreed that waste from independent schools and charity offices should be treated as ‘commercial’. Local authority funded schools will remain categorised as ‘household’ and so the Council will continue to bear the costs of disposal of their waste.
“We have had a dialogue with our schools as to how this could work. Schools are already recycling well and were keen to retain free recycling collections. We recognise that keeping recycling free gives them a real incentive to do even better, reducing their rubbish collection costs.
“With regards to charities, it is worth highlighting that this does not impact on charity shops, only those charities that have offices in the borough. We are aware that for some charities this might be concerning, so we have agreed to delay the introduction until April 2013.”