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Charges for soil, rubble, plasterboard and asbestos resume

16 November 2022
An image of the entrance to Chelson Meadow Household Waste Recycling Centre

Charges for some non-household items will resume at Chelson Meadow Household Waste Recycling Centre from Monday 5 December.

The policy, which was previously in place between January and June 2021, will mean that residents who bring soil, rubble, plasterboard and asbestos to the recycling centre will need to pay.

The charges will remain at the same level as they were during that period – soil and rubble will be £2.40 per bag or item, plasterboard £6 per bag or sheet and bonded asbestos £11 per bag or sheet.

It is estimated that by doing this, the Council could save £177,000 per year that may prove crucial in ensuring the continuation of other valued waste services.

The change comes as the Council considers proposals for closing an unprecedented £37.6m shortfall in its budget for local services next year.

A report to Cabinet last week highlighted how inflation, rising energy costs and rising demand for social care services are causing huge budget pressures for all local authorities and outlined a package of proposals to help close Plymouth’s gap.

What materials are classed as soil and rubble?

Bricks, breeze blocks, concrete, drainage pipes (ceramic/porcelain), gravel, hardcore, paving slabs, rubble, sand, sanitary ware (ceramic/porcelain toilets, bidets, sinks, shower trays, pipes, etc), soil, slates/slabs, stones, tarmac, tiles (ceramic, porcelain, floor, roof, wall) and turf.

Councillor Bill Wakeham, Cabinet member for the Environment and Street Scene, said: “This has been a difficult decision that simply must be taken in light of the current financial crisis.

“Chelson Meadow is a ‘household waste’ centre and generally, the kind of materials that we are going to be charging for relate to DIY construction and landscaping.

“Clearly, this will only effect a small minority of residents with most people able to use the centre as they always have done.

“Hopefully, this may act as a driver for households undertaking home improvement works to try and reuse and recycle.” 

The reintroduction of the policy brings Plymouth in line with the majority of local authorities nationwide and locally with Devon, Cornwall and Torbay.

Residents bringing any of the charged materials to Chelson will be directed to a dedicated area of the site. Payment will be by card only.

More details on our recycling centres can be found here:

This decision is subject to call in by scrutiny.