CHESHIRE West and Chester residents disposing large amounts of construction waste will soon have to pay extra when taking it to a local Household Waste Recycling Centre.

A new charging scheme for residents is being introduced at the borough’s seven HWRCs from April 2022.

A £3.70 per bag charge to leave four or more bags of construction waste or ceramic items at HWRCs will begin from April 1.

Charges will only apply for construction/DIY materials and not for domestic waste materials.

The news comes after Cheshire West and Chester Council recently rolled out an annual £40 garden waste collection service.

The decision to introduce charges was passed at full council last July, as part of the council’s Waste Management Strategy, when it was agreed that, ahead of the current HWRC contractual arrangements coming to an end, the council would explore charging for some types of waste (such as soil, rubble and hardcore) and to review the use of the pilot trade waste site.

As part of the review, the Trade Waste and Recycling Facility in Bumpers Lane, Chester (next to the Household Waste Recycling Centre), will close permanently from April 1, as the council said the site has struggled to achieve the level of visits needed to keep it economically viable.

The council is required to provide a place for Cheshire West and Chester residents to deposit household waste free of charge. However, waste material from domestic construction work is not classified as household waste and the council says it has no obligation to accept it.

A spokesperson for Cheshire West and Chester Council said: "We do, however, recognise that residents rely on the existing service when carrying out small DIY projects.

"To ensure everyone can continue receiving this service and avoid having to rent a skip or source another outlet, there will be no charge to residents leaving small amounts of construction waste, up to three bags."

The CWaC spokesperson added: "We understand that residents will need time to adjust to the changes and that’s why a period of transition will run through April and May where no charges will be applied to residents who turn up at HWRCs unaware of the new charges.

"The charges will pay for the cost of processing non-household waste, while still offering a disposal service. (A bag is equivalent to a standard rubble bag from DIY stores, approx. 800mm x 600mm)

"The change is part of our new Waste Management Strategy, agreed in 2021, which aims to reuse and recycle every item of waste produced in the borough and reduce the amount sent to energy to waste processing and landfill."

Councillor Karen Shore, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, highways and strategic transport, said: “At a time of unprecedented pressure on council budgets, it is necessary to focus resources on statutory services – those which the council is obliged to provide.

"Waste created from home improvements is not classed as household waste, and we are not required to receive it but we understand its importance to residents, so we want to continue providing this service on a discretionary basis. This will mean we will have to charge for the disposal of larger amounts of waste of more than three bags.

“We continue to face challenges to balance the council’s budgets. This charge is part of the council’s Waste Management Strategy agreed last year and will help us pay for increasing overheads and the cost of disposing of the materials.

"Charging of this nature is common for many other local authorities in the country. It has been running in neighbouring authority Cheshire East since 2018.

“Residents who do not wish to use the service can consider skip hire or use other licensed waste removal services. We hope the discretionary period in April and May allows residents to become more used to the new charges.”

Where required, staff will provide guidance on site and there will be clear signage indicating the new charging system. No cash will be taken, payment will be by contactless credit or debit card whilst on site before residents dispose of the relevant waste.