Rubbish rules hit small firms

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Small firms in Sheffield are urging the City Council to sign up to a new government commitment and let them get rid of light waste at household waste recycling centres.

The call to adopt the Government’s Business Recycling and Waste Services Commitment comes from the Federation of Small Businesses.

It was launched after FSB member David Watkins, from Pink Elephant Training, was told he could not take some cardboard to his local waste recycling site.

FSB regional chairman and Sheffield businessman, Gordon Millward, said: “The tipping charges levied by local authorities are just one of the many major barriers to growth in the small business sector.

“The hopes of economic recovery are dependent very much on the ability of the UK’s four million small businesses to create the wealth and jobs which will bring about economic success. Councils can do much to support us in that task, but clearly Sheffield Council is refusing to rise to the challenge.

“Is it really too much to ask that they help us by implementing the recommendation of the government?”

The Council says its five Household Waste Recycling Centres are only licensed for household waste, but it is in talks to see if they could be used by small firms.

However, it says that even then there would probably be a charge.

Sheffield City Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Coun Leigh Bramall, says the Government’s new Commitment offers nothing new to businesses and the Council had no immediate plans to sign up. The Council already ensured that businesses were aware of the facilities available to them across the city and encouraged them to get the best value for themselves.

“In addition to this we are already looking at the possibility of businesses using our household recycling sites. Once any decision is made we would make sure that businesses are aware of what is available to them,” said Coun Bramall.

“We must manage expectations though. Where there is a cost to the Council of offering such a services to businesses, it is unlikely that this service could be free to them, given the ongoing cuts the Council is facing .

“We are committed to doing everything we can to help businesses, whilst providing value for money for the tax payer. We recognise the difficulties faced by small businesses in finding affordable recycling solutions for their waste and we are looking at ways in which we can help.”