Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: “Thank you to the many thousands of people who have already registered for this new system. Hampshire residents will continue to be able to use Hampshire HWRCs for free. We’re introducing this system because I want to find a way that provides effective and environmentally practicable options for residents who live close to Hampshire’s borders, to continue to access our HWRCs, but in a way that is fairer to Hampshire residents who pay for the cost of the service through their council tax.”
Over 345,000 households have already successfully registered for the system which will be controlled by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and 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. We need to look carefully at all our costs and see where we can make savings - the financial pressures faced by local authorities were already considerable due to growing demand for council services and reduced funding from Government, and we now need to meet the challenges of unplanned costs and lost income due to the pandemic. I believe this is a fair and practical way to help with that.”
The e-permit 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 work 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.