Progress in Manchester on waste disposal charges

On Tuesday (7 May 2019), David Roman from the British Heart Foundation and I met with David Taylor and Michelle Whitfield of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) on the subject of waste disposal charges in the Greater Manchester area.

A recent announcement of new permitting arrangements had given cause for concern that many of our members were going to be subject to increased charges and/or restrictions and I met with them to express some of these concerns. They reassured us on a number of points:

  • The existing arrangements will hold good until the current annual permits expire
  • The new permits will be limited to 12 tips per year, with a maximum of 3.5 tonnes each visit. However, this is now 12 permits per shop, whereas the current arrangements are per charity
  • The new system will be reviewed after it has been in operation for a year to see if it is working effectively for both parties

The GMCA were very positive about the role of charity shops in the circular economy, and were keen to work with us wherever possible to ensure that charity shops in their area could continue with their great work.

They were also keen to point out the importance of ensuring that as few recyclable materials as possible enter the waste stream, and we would of course agree with that: not only does maximising recycling benefit the environment but it also is a potential additional revenue stream for charity retailers. Shops should therefore use their best endeavours to ensure that waste and recyclable materials are kept properly separated before tipping. 

All in all it was a positive meeting, with GMCA being happy to work with us in the future on this important issue. 

It is also worth noting that we are meeting with DEFRA and the Local Government Association in mid-June to discuss the possibility of creating a fair use policy for charity shop waste disposal in return for reducing waste disposal charges (ideally to zero). We will obviously keep you posted on any developments arising from this meeting.

If there are any queries or concerns arising from this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Robin Osterley
Chief Executive
Charity Retail Association