Call to reopen York’s tips as fly-tipping and rubbish fires increase

Fly tipping is increasing, according to reports. Photograph: Cllr Mark Warters

Councillors are calling for York’s rubbish tips to be reopened – after a government minister said household waste recycling centres should be reopened urgently.

City of York Council closed tips in response to the coronavirus outbreak, as well as pausing green bin rounds and bulky waste collections.

But North Yorkshire Fire Service say there has been an increase in callouts to bonfires – which could be linked to people burning rubbish.

And fly-tipping is on the increase in many parts of the country since the lockdown stopped visits to HWRCs.

Independent councillor Mark Warters is calling for the tips to be reopened, as is the Labour group.

‘Time for a rethink’

Hazel Court Household Waste Recycling Centre. Photograph © Google Street View

During a live council question and answer session on Facebook on Tuesday evening, Cllr Paula Widdowson said tips in York will not reopen yet -because residents could be fined by the police if the trip is classed as non-essential travel.

Cllr Taylor said he has written to police, fire and crime commissioner Julia Mulligan and Cllr Widdowson.

He said: “There’s got to be a safe and manageable way through here.

“The knock-on effects of classing trips to the tips as non-essential are a backlog of waste in people’s homes along with increases in fly-tipping and nuisance bonfires which, considering the stage we are now at in the lockdown, should be clear enough to force a re-think.”

He suggested putting social-distancing measures in place at the tip, as well as a booking system.

‘Perfectly possible’

Cllr Warters said: “Given that B&Q is permitted to open now with the huge gathering of members of the public seemingly authorised by the authorities, what justification can there be in continuing to bar the public from the Hazel Court and Towthorpe tips?

“It is perfectly possible to regulate numbers entering the tip sites, it’s an outdoor activity and doesn’t involve anyone being in close proximity to anyone else.”

Ms Mulligan has already raised concerns about an increase in bonfires and said reopening tips should be looked at.

Darlington’s Household Waste Recycling Centre reopened on Tuesday – with cars queuing outside.