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Published: Monday, 20th August 2018

Only Royal Greenwich residents will be able to drop their household recycling and rubbish off for free at the Royal Borough's Reuse and Recycling Centre.

From Saturday 1 September 2018, it's all change at the Nathan Way Reuse and Recycling Centre in Thamesmead to clamp down on the growth of free visits made by residents from neighbouring boroughs.

The Council is making rule changes because a recent survey across five days revealed 57 per cent of visitors to the centre had postcodes outside the Royal Borough. It has been estimated that the Council is paying a total of £140,000 year to dispose of non-resident's rubbish. In addition to slashing costs restricting access to the centre will make it less busy and reduce queuing times for Royal Greenwich residents.

Residents will have to show a valid driving licence or council tax bill as proof of address. Any visitors who live outside the borough and those who cannot produce the required identification will face a charge of £10 per trip. 'Meet and greet' staff will be available on site to help and advise all visitors on the new rules.

Restricted items

There are also some changes to the amount of waste residents can dispose of at the centre from building or maintenance works. Restrictions will be placed on the following items, which can only be dropped off in one visit per month, because they are extremely expensive to dispose of.

  • Asbestos - three small sheets
  • Hard core and rubble - five sacks
  • Plasterboard - five sacks
  • Car tyres - four

Major building project waste

Residents are being reminded that if they undertake major building projects they must dispose of the waste at a facility licensed for this or use a licensed skip company. The Royal Borough has a zero tolerance approach to fly tipping and the Council is highlighting that, as residents have a duty of care to ensure that their waste is not fly tipped, they must ask contractors they employ to dispose of rubbish to provide a waste transfer note.

Fly-tippers in Royal Greenwich can expect an on-the-spot fines of £400 or fines running up to several thousands of pounds if prosecuted.

To ensure large household items are not fly-tipped the Council provides a bulky waste collection service for residents which has a standard charge of £10 per item - which includes anything bought as a set such as a dining table with up to six chairs.

Commercial or trade waste

The Council is also stepping up its enforcement work to prevent any commercial or trade waste being brought to the Reuse and Recycling Centre and those suspected of this will be asked to fill in a 'Declaration of Household Waste' form and they may get a home visit to check on their activities.

Only cars are allowed onto the site and vehicles usually used for commercial use including vans, pick-up trucks, mini buses and vehicles with long trailers will not be allowed access. Customers with trade waste will be re-directed to use the waste transfer station next door and will be charged.

'We can save a huge amount of money'

Cllr Denise Scott-McDonald, Cabinet Member for Air Quality, Public Realm and Transport, said: "We want to send a clear message to residents from other boroughs that their rubbish is not welcome here. By making this change we can save a huge amount of money and make our service more efficient for Royal Greenwich residents. It is not acceptable for people from other places to bring their rubbish to the Royal Borough for free and it is not fair for our Council Tax payers to be picking up the bill for this.

"We are also going to be cracking down on anyone suspected of using the Reuse and Recycling Centre to dump commercial waste as the site is for the disposal of household waste only. We do appreciate many householders do undertake DIY projects and we will allow some building waste but in fairness to other residents we are introducing restrictions on this."

Find out more about the new rules and items which are accepted at Nathan Way Reuse and Recycling Centre