With less than a week to go until a new system which automatically recognises number plates of registered vehicles for continued free access to Hampshire Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) goes live, Hampshire County Council is reminding residents who have not yet signed up to do so.
Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said:
The new system we’re introducing on 1 August means that Hampshire residents will be able to continue to access any Hampshire HWRC for free, while also offering convenient access to those from other counties by introducing a charge for non-Hampshire residents.
This is an effective and environmentally practicable option for residents who live close to Hampshire’s borders while being fair to Hampshire residents who pay for the cost of the service through their council tax.
Nearly 389,000 households have already successfully registered for the system which will be managed using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR). The system will ensure continued free access for Hampshire residents to any of Hampshire’s 24 HWRCs to dispose of household waste, while access for non-Hampshire residents (excluding Dorset Council residents) will be for a fee of £5 per visit.
Councillor Humby continued:
Dealing with household waste is costly, which is why a number of our neighbouring authorities have already banned residents from outside their areas using their HWRCs. This is not our intention in Hampshire – instead, a charge of £5 per visit for non-Hampshire residents will be introduced from August to offset the £500,000 annual cost of dealing with waste from non-Hampshire residents visiting our sites.
The financial challenges facing local councils are well-documented and are now even more acute following the impact of Covid-19, so we need to look carefully at all our costs. I believe this new system is a fair and practical way to help with that.
This scheme was originally intended to begin on 1 April, but HWRCs were closed at the end of March following Government advice on essential travel during the Coronavirus lockdown. The HWRCs were reopened to the public on 11 May 2020 with new Covid-safe measures in place which reduced capacity on sites and led to the introduction of a booking system to manage demand and traffic queues. Hampshire residents need to register their vehicles, and also make a booking each time they visit a site.
Up to three cars per Hampshire household can be registered for continued free access to Hampshire HWRCs using an online form at: https://www.hants.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling/recyclingcentres/vehicle-registration