Reprieve for free bulky goods collections

Joseph Bulmer

To start charging might encourage fly tipping, councillors say

NORTH Devon councillors have agreed to retain a bulky good service which offers residents one free collection a year.

The previous Conservative administration had planned to scrap the service and impose a charge after the election in May.

However, the council is now run by a coalition of Lib-Dems and Independents and this week the Executive Committee agreed to keep the service as it is.

Cllr Rodney Cann, Executive Member for Environment, said: “I was dismayed when the previous administration decided to cut this popular and well used service. We recognised the important role this free collection facility had for many local residents, particularly the more vulnerable and elderly people in our communities.”

Council Leader, Cllr Brian Greenslade, said: “We hope this will be welcome news for people who may need occasional help with picking up a large item, such as an old fridge or an unwanted sofa.

“We also believe if charges for first collections were introduced, we could see a further increase in fly-tipping, which would not only be visually and environmentally detrimental, but could also cost the council more money to clean up in the long-run.”

Although the first bulky goods collection is free for every household in any year, other collections within the same year (running from April to March) are charged for. This fee is �15 for what are classed as standard items. These are items those most commonly requested, such as: beds and mattresses, sofas, tables and chairs, fridges and freezers, televisions and wardrobes.

Non-standard goods are also collected as part of the service and are items that might be very large, heavy or unusual, such as a garden shed (broken down). The charge for collecting these items depends on the weight, size or the resources needed to pick them up.

To use the service, residents need to follow these simple steps:

Call the council on 01271 327711 or 374776 to check your item can be collected and find out when the next available collection slot is in the area;

On the day of the pre-arranged collection, leave the bulky goods item outside on the kerbside by 7am.

Certain bulky goods items can also be taken to household recycling centres in North Devon. These are run by Devon County Council and are at Seven Brethren in Barnstaple, Killacleave in Ilfracombe and Maclins in South Molton. For more information on what else can be recycled at these centres, contact Devon County Council on 0845 450 2477 or visit