Corby’s bulky waste service one of cheapest in England...so why are people fly-tipping?

Waste dumped in Wire Lane on the edge of East Carlton. NNL-181218-104744005
Waste dumped in Wire Lane on the edge of East Carlton. NNL-181218-104744005

A service that collects large items of waste in Corby is one of the cheapest in the country, analysis has found.

Corby Council’s bulky waste collection service was found to be the most cost-efficient and generous in the East Midlands, according to figures compiled by the BBC Shared Data Investigation Unit.

A mattress and furniture was left next to garages in Harlech. NNL-181218-104714005

A mattress and furniture was left next to garages in Harlech. NNL-181218-104714005

The council will collect 10 large items such as mattresses and fridges for £23, an average of £2.30 an item. The rate is three times’ cheaper than nearby Wellingborough.

Yet Corby has the highest number of fly-tipping incidents in the north of the county by some distance.

Corby Council’s environment portfolio holder Cllr Mark Pengelly said: “Sometimes we do not understand how people load up a vehicle and then drive to an area [to dump it] when it’s just as easy to take it to the tip or use the collection service.

“It’s a good service at a good price, please use it.”

Litter Pick: Corby: The pile of litter collected at Corby Boating Lake'volunteers with neighbourhood wardens and Cllr Mark Pengelly'(far left).

Litter Pick: Corby: The pile of litter collected at Corby Boating Lake'volunteers with neighbourhood wardens and Cllr Mark Pengelly'(far left).

Elsewhere in the county no council’s average charge per item was as low as Corby’s.

East Northamptonshire’s was £3.90 (£27.50 for seven items), Kettering’s was £4.20 (£25 for six items), Daventry’s was £5.50 (£16.38 for three items), South Northamptonshire’s was £5.70 (£34 for six items), Wellingborough’s was £7.30 (£36.60 for five items) and Northampton’s was £8.30 (£25 for three items).

Cllr Pengelly said: “What we have always tried to do is have a service that we feel is affordable for the people of Corby.

“We are pleased that what we have been saying for a long time has been proved to be correct and that we have one of the cheapest.”

Across the country fifteen councils offer a free collection service (Charnwood, Croydon, Hillingdon, Hyndburn, Kingston upon Hull, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Merton, North Lincolnshire, Nottingham, Oxford, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest).

The research found that there was a postcode lottery on charges, with a big north-south divide.

Residents in the south east paid an average cost of £16.60 per item. In the north east it was just £5.40.

Of the paid-for services only five councils offered a cheaper average cost than Corby (Pendle, Southwark, Basildon, Blackburn with Darwen and Middlesbrough).

The most expensive rate was in Waverley in the south east, who charge £44 to collect just one item.

In 2017-18, there were nearly one million fly-tipping incidents in England.

Of those, more than half - 521,895 - of the items dumped were white goods or other household waste - a category that includes furniture. All of these items could have been collected using the bulky waste services.

A Local Government Association spokesman said: “Some councils were able to provide free garden and bulky waste services when they were first introduced but are now having to charge to reflect the growing cost of providing a collection service.

“Councils in England face an overall funding gap of £3.2 billion in 2019-20.

“Money from garden and bulky waste collection charges goes back into maintaining the service.”