Tradesmen will soon be able to dispose of waste materials at the six Borders recycling sites after a council change of policy.
Instead of banning trade waste being dumped at the recycling centres the council last week approved the introduction of a charge for the service.
Currently, recycling centres are only licenced and designed to accept household waste but in recent years there has been growing demand from some traders to access these sites. It is also suspected that some traders gain regular, unauthorised access to dispose of their waste.
To resolve this councillors were faced with two options: to either enforce a trade ban at community recycling centres or introduce a permit system. Both options will incur costs to manage and enforce but the permit system will bring in revenue which could cover the management and enforcement costs.
After a thorough review took place - including extensive consultation and research - council officials recommended that a simple two permit scheme is introduced and councillors agreed to this proposal when they met last week.
One permit would be green, construction and recycling materials and the other for recycling only. The scheme is intended to be attractive to smaller, mobile business operators.
In order to ensure that the sites can cope with the addition of authorised trade waste, a number of material, vehicle and access restrictions will apply initially with a review taking place after three months, after which some of the restrictions may be relaxed or removed, plus further improvements be made.
Applications for either of the permits will be via an online form with legal checks and full payment, from April 1, 2016.
SBC’s executive member for environmental services, Councillor David Paterson, said: “The scheme will benefit traders by providing a cost effective and legally compliant way of disposing of waste and recycling. This will also enhance the range of waste services currently provided by the council.”
It is proposed the new policy will be introduced in the next financial year.