South Tyneside Council is reducing the fee for a bulky waste collection for a trial period to gauge its impact on flytipping levels across the Borough.
Bulky Waste Collections are ideal for residents wanting to dispose of items like furniture, white goods or large electrical appliances - items that are usually taken when people move house.
The cost is currently £26.50 for the collection of up to eight items. However, the Council is introducing a reduced fee of £12.50 for an initial six-month period to determine whether it helps to tackle flytipping.
The reduced cost will apply to collections of up to eight items for bookings that are made from 1 April, with any impact on the service and flytipping levels closely monitored over the trial period.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management at South Tyneside Council, said: "Bulky Waste Collection is a popular service with South Tyneside residents and is just one of the many ways that residents can safely dispose of large, heavy items that they may not be able to transport to the Recycling Village themselves.
"The Council also works extremely hard to keep the Borough clean and tidy, tackling littering and flytipping in our streets, back lanes and open spaces
"We have listened to residents' concerns about flytipping. It is not only illegal, unsightly and hazardous to the public and wildlife, but it is costly to clean up.
"While there is absolutely no excuse for flytipping, we are going to see if the lower price makes any difference in the amount of waste that is illegally dumped and blights our beautiful Borough.
"We expect an influx of bookings when the scheme launches. Residents will be given the first available slot within the work programme."
Residents using the Bulky Waste Collection service can be assured that their waste is disposed of legally, safely and correctly.
However, those who choose private disposal services are urged to check that the businesses they use are legitimate waste carriers and that they receive a Waste Transfer Notice.
Councillor Gibson said: "We are seeing more and more cases where unlicensed waste carriers either come recommended by others or offer to take away rubbish on the cheap. Even though residents are paying them in good faith, the waste is often not legitimately disposed of and is flytipped by the roadside or at Borough beauty spots instead.
"As well as checking the business has a valid waste carriers licence, we would always encourage residents to obtain a Waste Transfer Note, otherwise they could be held responsible if their waste is found to be flytipped."
Bulky Waste Collections are not for the disposal of hazardous or commercial waste such as rubble and plaster. They also do not cover fixtures or fittings such as bathroom suites, kitchen units, doors and laminate flooring, which can be collected as part of the Borough's house or garden clearance schemes.
Residents using the Recycling Village can get a free Household Waste Permit from the Council if they want to dispose of their waste using a trailer, pick up or van.
This is to ensure businesses or trades people do not use the Recycling Village to dispose of commercial or hazardous waste.
For further information about the many ways to dispose waste safely in South Tyneside, including details of the Bulky Waste Collection Service, booking online, and what can and cannot be collected, visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling
Flytipping can be reported through the Council's Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000 (open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6.30pm). All calls will be treated in the strictest confidence. Alternatively Report It online via the Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit