Residents are being warned anyone seeking to tip garden rubble or DIY waste at a Lancashire County Council waste disposal site will need a cash card – after new rules were introduced.
St Michael’s-on-Wyre couple Colin and Julie Smith were astounded when they learned that there would be a charge of £3.50 a bag to dispose of rubble from work at their property.
They had made the trip from St Michael’s to Ingol tip at Preston to dispose of five bags of waste – and thought they would have to take it home as they thought they had no money with them.
Fortunately, Mr Smith found his wallet in the car and paid by card.
The county council introduced a new charging system on June 1.
Mr Smith said: “Where we live there have been no leaflets, nothing mentioned any-where.
“It’s a 24-mile round trip. They don’t take cash. What is Council Tax paid for?”
Mrs Smith said: “It was a bit of a shock. Basically if you go to the tip, take your credit card with you – you may need it.
Mr Smith added: “I want to make other people in the area aware of this as a lot of people are going to get caught out.”
Lancashire County Council says its new charging policy will help to reduce the estimated £750,000 annual cost of dealing with ‘inert’ waste such as soil, rubble, plus ceramics such as toilets and sinks and plasterboard.
Residents are able to apply for a free permit which will allow them to dispose of up to 10, 25kg bags of construction and demolition a year without charge.
A charge of £3.50 per 25kg bag or equivalent item will be applied for any further waste, or for any waste delivered without a permit.
A county council spokesman said: “We’ve done our best to let people know of the change with prominent signage at the sites and handing out leaflets to visitors over recent months.”
To apply for a permit you can log onto the council’s website at www.lancashire.gov.uk/waste.
Alternatively, call 0300 123 6781.