Report to:                  Lead Member for Transport and Environment


Date of meeting:       21 November 2022


By:                              Director of Communities, Economy and Transport


Title:                           Policy relating to use of vans and cashless transactions at East Sussex County Council Household Waste Recycling Sites


Purpose:                    To formalise and continue policy changes across the East Sussex Household Recycling Site network



RECOMMENDATIONS: The Lead Member is recommended to:


(1)  Approve continuing restricting vans and oversize vehicle access to Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS) to Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays only; and


(2)  Approve all HWRS continue with cashless transactions for non-household waste which includes hardcore, soil, plasterboard, asbestos, and tyres.



1       Background Information

1.1.        The collection and disposal of waste is one of the most visible services that councils provide. It is one of a small number of services that every resident benefits from on a weekly basis. Whether it is rubbish or recycling, or garden waste being collected from residents’ homes, streets being swept, or visiting a Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS), everyone uses the service on a regular basis.

1.2.        Due to this reach, managing waste and recycling is a complicated and expensive service. It is the biggest single contract held by East Sussex County Council. However, service does not include the collection of waste and recycling or street cleaning, which is handled by five Districts and Borough Councils.

1.3.        Controlling what East Sussex spends on waste and recycling has some significant limitations. The Council has a legal duty to dispose of or recycle all the household waste our residents create. As residents we all, to a greater or lesser degree, create waste and recycling for councils to collect and dispose of.

1.4.        The network of 10 HWRS in East Sussex is an important part of the service provided by East Sussex County Council and is popular with residents. The sites receive 1.6 million visits per year and handle about a quarter of the total waste that East Sussex residents produce. The sites also recycle, compost, or reuse almost 60% of the materials that are brought to them by residents and accept up to 36 different types of materials.

1.5.        The network, in line with Government guidance, temporarily closed in March 2020 for approximately 11 weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Reopening the network brought a period of challenge. The sites experienced high levels of demand but were operating a restricted service to provide a safe environment for our residents. During this time, the Council needed to reassess some of the entry policies and restrictions, this is when changes were introduced to van and oversize vehicle access arrangements. Details around the amended policy which restricts vans and oversize vehicle access to Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS) to Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays only is reflected in Appendix 1. The currently operating Van and Oversize Vehicle Access Policy for our Household Waste Recycling Sites is referenced in Appendix 4.

1.6.        East Sussex County Council is required, under s51 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, to provide residents in its area with reasonably accessible HWRS for the free disposal of household waste. Trade waste is not allowed at these sites. There is no specified minimum number of sites or mandatory opening times, although they must be open for part of either Saturday or Sunday. There is also no obligation to accept waste other than household waste, delivered by our residents, for free at the HWRS. The Act is silent on how the sites should be accessed and so authorities have developed their own approaches to how they manage vehicle access to their sites.

1.7.        Upon reopening the Household Waste Site Network after it’s temporary Covid-19 closure, the Council also considered how charges for non-household waste and products such as compost could be paid for. Non-household waste transactions at all sites - franchised and non-franchised – changed to become all cashless with only electronic means of payment accepted. Appendix 1 outlines the benefits of moving to this model and some background context of how neighbouring authorities accept payment for non-household waste..


1.8       We wish to maintain these changes and have completed Equality Impact Assessments for both amended access policies. The Equality Impact Assessment for Cashless Transactions can be found in Appendix 2 whilst the Equality Impact Assessment for Vans and Oversize Vehicles can be found in Appendix 3.

2     Conclusion and Reasons for Recommendations

2.1.        The Lead Member is recommended to:

(1)  approve the continuation of access of Van and oversize vehicles to Household Waste Sites on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays only as this allows more thorough Trade Waste checks to be carried out.

(2)  approve the continuation of cashless transactions for non-household waste.




Director of Communities, Economy and Transport

Contact Officer: Anthony Pope
Tel. No. 07714 481648