Council Gets Tough On Waste Collection Payment Avoiders
18th June 2012
Council targeting holiday homes that are avoiding payment for their waste collection services.
Back in February this year, The Highland Council wrote to the owners of around 1,650 non-domestic rated (NDR) holiday home properties advising them of their legal obligations under the Environmental Protection Act and associated Duty of Care Regulations to have in place a waste collection contract for dealing with the waste generated from their businesses. It advised that if there was no response to the letter by early March then the collection service would cease.
Just over half of the owners responded to the letter. After giving a further two months for replies to come in, the Council will now be stopping the service to those properties where no response has been received. Stickers with the text "'The Highland Council has not emptied your bin because our records show you do not have a current commercial waste collection contract with us'. 'no contract, no uplift' will be attached to any bins presented for collection that do not have a current collection contract in place.
All NDR premises require to pay for their waste collection service and to have in place what is known as a "waste transfer note" specifying what waste they produce; which registered waste carrier collects that waste and which licenced waste disposal / treatment facility is used for the disposal/treatment of the waste. Failure to have this documentation in place is a breach of the Regulations.
The Council on its part has a duty to have such documentation in place if it is collecting commercial waste from any premise. It is also tasked with recovering the costs of any commercial waste collection service that it provides.
A Council spokesperson said: "It has to be recognised that these businesses are committing a criminal offence.
They are also avoiding paying for their collection service and these costs are being borne by the tax payer. I am sure that taxpayers and those businesses which are meeting their legal obligations and are paying for their collection service would expect the Council to take a firm stance against these businesses. The annual cost for servicing 1 x 240litre residual bin and 1 x 240litre recycling bin on an alternate weekly collection basis averages out at £2.74 per week and most holiday homes charge several hundred pounds per week."
The same action will be taken with the NDR properties in Inverness and Sutherland areas later this year and for any commercial businesses throughout the Highlands who are found to be illegally obtaining a collection service from the Council or are illegally disposing of their commercial waste in the litterbins or at the recycling centres.
The twenty-second Highland Archaeology Festival gets underway at the end of this week (Friday 2nd October) with another packed programme of events across the Highlands. The fortnight-long Festival, which is co-ordinated by The Highland Council's Development and Infrastructure Service in partnership with dozens of local event organiser across the Highland Council area and in Moray, runs from Friday 2nd October to Sunday 18th October.
On 1 October 2015 the law changes as new consumer rights come into force. The Highland Council's Trading Standards team is offering advice and assistance to Highland businesses to ensure that they continue to give their customers a good and fair deal.
Significant energy is being spent on work to plan ahead and identify savings to address the anticipated budget gap. The Council meeting in June 2015 considered a report which estimated a forecast budget deficit for the next three financial years of ¬£46.28 million.
Community Planning Partners (CPP) in Highland have agreed unanimously to support the recruitment of retained firefighters. Chair of the CPP Board and Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Margaret Davidson said: "Resilient communities are dependent on having trained fire fighters available and accessible.
Consultations commence on a review of the Highland-Wide Local Development Plan, Onshore Wind Energy Guidance and the Local Housing Strategy. The Highland Council has today launched three online consultations on planning and housing issues across the area, including a review of its main planning policy document the Highland-wide Local Development Plan.
Details of a process for a call for community transport grants applications will be considered by The Highland Council's Community Services Committee at their meeting on 5th November 2015. Twenty-two third sector organisations are currently grant funded through transport services and have been advised that their grants expire on 31st March 2016.
The Highland Council welcomes the announcement of the approval to this first stage of the roll-out of the new European Social Fund (ESF) Employability Programme for Highland which will be operating up to December 2018. This will allow the Council and Partners to develop the detailed operational programmes, which will deliver services to people with barriers to employment and provide incentives to employment for small and medium enterprises in Highland.
Councillor Margaret Davidson (Independent), Leader of the Highland Council today welcomed the commencement of work to start dualling the A9 which was formally launched today by Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities. This first phase of work is the five-mile long section between Kincraig and Dalraddy which is due to be completed by summer 2017.
The Royal Regiment of Scotland will receive a warm welcome in Inverness on 15 October 2015 when granted the Freedom of the Highlands by The Highland Council. Members of the Council's City of Inverness and Area have agreed that ¬£24,401 Inverness Common Good funding will be allocated towards the cost of arrangements required for the granting of Freedom status.
Nominations are invited from people seeking election to all Community Councils across Highland this autumn. This is your chance to help represent the views of your community to the Highland Council and other public agencies.
[Printer Friendly Version]