FLY-TIPPING will rise when commercial vehicles are banned from using Witham recycling centre, it is feared.

The Perry Road tip is one of 12 which will introduce a ban on DIY and construction waste on October 31.

The ban forms part of Essex County Council efforts to reduce the amount of commercial waste illegally dumped at recycling centres and cut costs.

Handymen and women will have to make the 20-mile round trip to the recycling centre in Springwood Drive, Braintree to dispose of any construction or demolition waste, regardless of whether it is from their own home.

County councillor James Abbott said: “My view has always been the same: recycling should be made as easy as possible. I can understand the problem county have got with commercial vehicles, but this doesn’t excuse it.

“Any argument that this is going to improve recycling is nonsense. I feel this is discriminating against Witham residents.”

The union GMB has raised concerns over recycling, congestion and pressure on site operatives.

Dave Powell, regional organiser, said: “The county council are rightly concerned regarding trade waste being taken into recycling centres. Although we understand the problem the county council are trying to resolve, we do not believe that this is the answer. GMB believes it would make more sense to develop four sites across the county that can be licensed to accept trade waste at a cost to the trader, as has been done in other counties.”

In a letter to Essex County Council, Mr Powell said fly-tipping would increase significantly and the changes will cost taxpayers more in the long run.

Nine centres, including Braintree, will still take DIY and construction waste, but restrictions on how much can be disposed of will be put into place. Camera recognition systems will also be used.

Simon Walsh, councillor responsible for waste and environment, said: “The taxpayer cannot continue to pick up the bill for businesses which don’t dispose of their waste properly.

“These operational changes will stop people unlawfully disposing of business and trade waste at recycling centres at the expense of the taxpayer, whilst still providing the facility for residents to dispose of their legitimate DIY waste when carrying out ad-hoc work at home themselves.”