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Disposal charges for soil, rubble, plasterboard and asbestos introduced

A photo of Chelson Meadow Household Waste Recycling Centre

We are going to be introducing charges to get rid of some types of waste at Chelson Meadow from January.

A new policy, which comes into effect on 26 January will mean that residents who bring soil, rubble, plasterboard and asbestos to the recycling centre will need to pay.

It won’t be bank breaking - soil & rubble will be £2.40 per bag or item, plasterboard £6 per bag or sheet and bonded asbestos £11 per bag / sheet – but even so, we recognise that it’s more than people paid before.

We don’t take decisions that we know will be unpopular lightly. So why are we doing this?

Like all Councils up and down the country, we’ve been looking at ways we can tighten our belts.

Last year, we accepted 5,983 tonnes of these types of materials which then cost £140,000 to dispose of. Our estimates show that the changes will almost completely offset this charge in future.

The money we save will help us tackle the unprecedented financial challenges we face and ensure the continuation of other valued waste services.

We’re not the only council doing this. Both Devon and Cornwall county councils already charge for these items. Torbay are also doing similar. 

There are no plans to charge for anything else. Just soil, rubble, plasterboard and asbestos.

Remember that Chelson Meadow is a ‘household waste recycling centre’ and generally, the materials in scope are part of the fabric of homes or gardens and usually arise from domestic construction, DIY or landscaping projects. They are not accepted at Weston Mill at all.

Of course, the big question that we’ve had to ask ourselves is will this change in policy encourage fly-tipping?

No one wants to see fly-tipping. It’s a shameful crime and we know that the vast majority of residents are better than that.

We’ve consulted the stats and construction waste accounts for nine per cent of all fly-tipping offences in Plymouth and we'll continue to respond robustly and prosecute anyone who we find responsible.

In terms of the day-to-day running of Chelson Meadow, we don’t envisage too many changes. Residents will continue to be greeted by a member of staff who will ask what materials are to be disposed of.

If there are any of the charged materials, they 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 at:

Which 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.