Taking a van to the tip isn’t as easy as it used to be. Only a few years ago, you rented a van, loaded it up with things you didn’t want to keep and drove over to the closest Council tip to unload your unwanted stuff. Easy. But it’s not so simple anymore!
Across the whole of the Greater Manchester area, since December 2021, if you want to make use of the Council tips, many of which are now run by private firms, going in anything other than a private car, (a van, pickup truck, or twin axle trailer for example) you’ll have to register yourself as well as the vehicle you’re planning on using BEFORE you go, or you’ll either be turned away at the gate or charged.
You pay your council tax, so you’re entitled to use the tip to get rid of things from in and around your house that you can’t pop in your bin and do so for free. All well and good, but not everyone who turns up at tip is so entitled. Trade waste for instance; waste generated by tradespeople or as part of a commercial operation ISN’T free to dispose of and those who generate it are required to pay for disposal. But if the tradesperson can convince the attendant at the tip that they just have a van full of their own personal domestic waste, then they might be able to save a few quid.
Justifiably, the various councils want to make sure that the ‘free’ tip is only being used by private individuals from their area, while ensuring that those who should be paying for the service ARE paying for the service.
The permit system is the solution that has been imposed for this purpose. It’s understandable, but it has its problems.
In order to take anything other than a car, in the first instance, you’ll have to apply for a permit – visit The Recycle For Greater Manchester website and simply fill in the details. Application is very straightforward, however, the site advises it can take up to 2 working days to register your application and you’ll need to have some documents to hand to upload when requested.
The application process requires you to supply some personal details and upload a proof of address (either a council tax bill or utility bill) to make sure you live in an area that entitles you to use the council tip.
You’ll then have to supply details and proofs of the vehicle you’re going to use. If it’s your own vehicle that’ll be the end of it. However, if you’re wanting to hire a vehicle, you apply for the permit and once you have it, you’ll have to log back in on the day of the tip run and enter the details of the rental van. You’ll then be able to instantly get a QR code you can take with you, but which will only be valid for 24 hours.
As a private citizen you’re allowed to use your own car to visit the tip 52 times a year without needing a permit, or 18 times if you’re using a vehicle that DOES require a permit.
You’ll only have to go through the application process once, however there are three main problems with the system:
If you follow any local area Facebook groups or news sites etc, you can’t help but notice the numerous instances of fly-tipping. Depending on who you ask, it seems like fly-tipping has gotten worse since the permit system was introduced and if this is indeed the case, it’s not a great stretch to see why it could happen as a result of people being turned away with a van full of things they legitimately want to get rid of (we’re not justifying it, we’re just pointing out that potentially there’s a causal link!).
Imagine that you’re having a clear out, you’ve booked a day off work and hired a van (naturally, from us) to do it. You load the van up and take the van to the tip in order to responsibly dispose of your things. You get to the tip only to be asked for your pass, the first time you’ve heard of such a thing. No problem you think, I’ll just apply for one now while I’m here…. only to discover that something which you’d expect to be automated takes two working days, so there’s no practical way you can get rid of your van full.
You hired the van for a day (money now wasted) so you can either try to arrange to keep the van for a few more days while you wait for your pass, or take it back home and unload it and make arrangements again when you do have your pass, make several trips in your car, or hire a waste disposal ‘man and van’ (after carefully checking their credentials and waste carrier license).
We know YOU, dear reader, will take one of those honest and responsible options, but you can see how easy it would be to, for example, take a detour on your way home after being turned away at the tip and find a secluded spot to unload unscrupulously, or hire a cheap (probably unlicensed) waste carrier who’ll potentially do the same.
Incidentally, if you do use an unlicensed waste carrier, who then dumps your stuff, you’re not off the hook – cleaning up fly tipping is expensive and councils routinely keep an eye out for signs of where the rubbish came from. if it’s traced back to you expect fines and a day in court. Not only are you expected to know that you need a pass for the tip, you’re also expected to know that you should be aware of and check the waste carrier license of someone who you hire to take away your rubbish!
It’s easy to see how the extra level of bureaucracy involved in doing something you’d expect to be able to ‘just do’ could result in fly-tipping. We’d also question whether the expense of cleaning up fly-tipping costs councils more than they recoup from the tradies who might otherwise try to pass of their waste as domestic.
Westwood Motor Group is a trading style of Melling Commercial Ltd, registered address: Manchester Road, Ince, Wigan, Lancashire, WN2 2EA
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