Richmondshire District Council one of the most expensive for bulky waste collections

Restrictions are in place at Richmondshire District Council's office at Mercury House.

Richmondshire is one of the most expensive places in the country to have your old fridge or freezer collected by the council.

New research shows that while some local authorities collect bulky items from residents for free, Richmondshire District Council’s collection service is one of the most expensive in the country .

The authority charges £40 for collecting up to five items, such as sofas and beds.

However, this fee rises to £50 for waste described as hazardous, which includes fridges, freezers and televisions.

This charge is the second highest in the country, with only Richmond-upon-Thames charging more (£51).

The research was carried out by the BBC Local News Partnership’s shared data unit.

The analysis revealed widespread regional variation in how much people were being asked to pay, with prices ranging from just a few pounds for a single item to more than £100 for collections of multiple items.

The study found little consistency in the often confusing pricing structures set by councils.

Most local authorities charged per item but there are other ways of charging.

Some assign items points to determine a price, other councils charge a set price no matter how many items are collected, while some councils have a minimum fee then additional charges.

Like Richmondshire, some councils impose a separate charge, too, for the collection of white goods like fridges and freezers.

But Colin Dales, the council’s corporate director, said the research was over simplistic and misleading.

He said: “In Richmondshire we do make a distinction between non hazardous and hazardous items (including fridges) in our bulky waste collection service, with a lower price being charged for non hazardous items, basically because such items present fewer disposal issues.

“With reference to hazardous items we charge £50 for the collection of up to 5 items – this equates to just £10 per item. This makes us one of the cheapest collection services.

“It is simply the way the BBC have calculated the charge which makes us look expensive.

“With regard to non hazardous items, our charge is only £8 per item for up to 5 items, again, making us very good value for money.

“From the 1st April we will be introducing one single charge (for up to 5 items) of £46, regardless of whether the items are hazardous or non hazardous – £9.20 per item. This will simplify the charging for our residents and will continue to encourage the responsible disposal of bulky items.”

A spokesperson for the Local Government Association said: “Some councils were able to provide free garden and bulky waste services when they were first introduced but are now having to charge to reflect the growing cost of providing a collection service.

“Councils in England face an overall funding gap of £3.2 billion in 2019-20.

“Money from garden and bulky waste collection charges goes back into maintaining the service.”

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