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West Lothian Council are harming my business

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Post Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:37 pm

West Lothian Council are harming my business

I am a sign maker. I make a living from making signs (a large proportion of which are signs for commercial vehicles). A big part of my customer base are the small independent businesses that make up the backbone of our economy. Joiners, plumbers, Electricians etc. All are proud to have their company details emblazoned across their vehicles. However, the latest West Lothian Council policy may cause them to think twice before getting their vans sign written.

As from 1st April 2019 only unmarked commercial vehicles will be allowed on site to allow private individuals to dispose of their waste. Vans with signs will only be allowed on site once the owner has jumped through a series of hoops and applied for a permit to use his van to ferry waste from home to the tip.

Presumably the council believe that all commercial vehicles without signage are privately owned and all commercial vehicle displaying signage are only ever used for business?

Most likely it is the cowboy element amongst us that will continue to take commercial waste to the councils recycling centres and try to pass it off as home waste to avoid the hefty fees now incurred by business to dispose of waste. It is exactly these types that are running about in unmarked vans. The more legitimate businesses will continue to act responsibly and will pay private companies to manage their waste. But it is precisely the more responsible types that are being targeted making it more difficult to take (for example) an old carpet or mattress from the individuals home away for disposal.

By targeting legitimate businesses making it more difficult for the owners to use their vans privately they are simply encouraging the cowboy element to continue doing what they have always done. In the process, my type of business (sign makers) can expect a downturn as more and more small businesses decide not to bother getting their vans sign written as the council will now penalise them and impose obstacles in the way to prevent them from using their commercial vehicles out of hours (which is their right).

In my view the council have got it all wrong. All vans should be treated equally. All should be allowed to ferry domestic waste and not be discriminated against simply because the owners choose to put signs on their vans.

On the plus side - I expect an increase in sales of magnetic signs :awkward:
Last edited by Phill Fenton on Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:43 pm

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

Hi phill ,we are experiencing the same thing here in north lanarkshire too the council tips are no longer allowing any commercial vehicles in it used to be that you had to book it in with 48 hours notice but they have put a full ban on it
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Post Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:37 pm

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

This might vary from council to council but here in Worcestershire, you need a permit with reg no. for every commercial vehicle that you wish to use to dispose of any domestic waste. The permits are free (at the moment) & you are entitled to 12 per year. Waste is checked by the site operators upon arrival, & then permitted to use the site. They won’t let you use the permit more than once, including multiple trips when clearing out the garage or shed.
This way only real domestic waste is tipped. I pay for waste collection for my business, won’t pay for domestic as that what my council tax is for, but as the only private car I own is a 2 seater convertible, not really suitable for getting rid of old fence panels & half bags of cement. I tried to tip the tatty old sold sign from when I bought our house, was told “no way mate, that’s a sign, you’ve got signs on the van, that’s commercial waste”
Bit of a jobsworth & not worth the conversation to educate him, but the process seems to work most of the time.
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Post Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:19 pm

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

In North Lanarkshire the only commercial vehicles allow into a recycling facility are privately hired, short term rental vans............with a valid rental agreement.
CCTV controlled including body cams on the staff!

John
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Post Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:37 pm

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

This is what happens when unemployable busybodies get into positions of power. If you don’t understand any logic or common sense, local government can find an office for you somewhere.
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Post Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:14 pm

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

A few years ago I used my van to take my Father in laws old carpet to the tip. Someone at the tip must've been watching me because 5 minutes after I returned to work a council worker turned up at my unit accusing me of illegally dumping commercial waste. I explained it was my Father in laws old carpet and as far as I was concerned that was the end of the matter. He was furious (he obviously didn't believe me but I was telling the truth) and accused me of fly tipping...(I have no idea where that came from) . I would've found the whole episode highly amusing if it wasn't for the fact our council taxes were paying his wages...
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Post Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:46 pm

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

Phill - I agree with your comments - here in Derby comercial vehicles need a permit to be used to transport non-trade waste to council recycling facilities for years regardles if branding is displayed or not which makes it a bit more fair - I think they will allow 3 tip runs in a van each year foc.
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Post Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:53 am

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

Hi phil, rather than trying to swim against the tide why don’t you find a way round it.

Sell all your clients blank mag panels to cover their sign writing!

Regards

Alex
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Post Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:47 pm

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

Used to be the same down here at the local authority run tips, because so many people were dumping large amounts of commercial waste, they made a registration scheme which allowed you up to six tip runs a year - for non commercial waste only, ie, emptying your shed, etc.,

That stopped altogether a few years ago to my knowledge. Although my local would still let me dump what was obviously household waste in my written van, another wouldn't even lift the barrier for me!

I've never disposed of commercial waste via the tip and it was mildly annoying but, would I sacrifice the amount of work I gain through advertising on the side of my van, in order to sneak some waste into a recycling depot? Nope!
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Post Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:19 pm

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

I dont get why the UK does it this way.
It seems so - complicated.

Here in NZ you go to the dump.
Drive onto a weigh scale.
They weigh you, your car, everything inside it.
Then they weigh you out.
Subtract the two numbers. Thats what you pay for.
Commercial, domestic, makes no difference.
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Post Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:11 pm

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

I think it’s because if they charged for it here, it would often get dumped in a lay by or backstreet somewhere. The local council usually end up footing the bill for cleaning it & up the cost just gets passed down the line to the taxpayer. Interesting system you have Simon, I like the idea of everyone paying their whack, do your local taxes not cover waste collection in New Zealand?
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Post Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:57 am

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

The tip near us have a bar across the gate and only vehicles that can fit under get in (about a low roof transit size)
No business vehicles ( no sign writing)

My father in law used to take his extra rubbish in a small trailer as he was quite protective over his car. They introduced a permit for trailers only allowing 5 or 6 visits per year...

Been like this around our area for years
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Post Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:01 am

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

Another thing I find amusing is business waste bins. We have 2 large bins in our yard, supplied by the council at a cost of £25 per month.

Yet we have to have a waste management license too
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Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:06 am

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

Well, to top that, Maldon District Council in Essex have banned all commercial vehicles from the tip around the corner from my office in Burnham on Crouch, l was refused entry in my small unmarked fiat fiorino which l used purely to ferry my large elderly dog around, l was even turned away when l parked outside and attempted to walk in with a bag of domestic rubbish and some cardboard for recycling, even Nissan Navara and MItsubishi L200's are classed as commercial, all its going to do is promote flytipping, so much for our council pushing the recycling! Around 18 months ago they stopped accepting hardcore of any sort, be it bathroom tiles, garden soil, grass cuttings and greenery is still allowed as the recycle that and sell it as compost! and its only open Friday to Monday 10 till 5 and 10 till 4 in winter months, does make you wonder where your council tax goes!
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Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:42 pm

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

It's complete madness. A bit like trying to reduce crime by shutting all the police stations and reducing the number of police
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Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:54 pm

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

Pretty standard with most councils now to be honest, and pretty straight forward to get a permit, if you do need a permit more than once a month then chances are they probably are getting rid of trade waste, which if every business did that I'm sure council taxes would soon jump up in order to process it all, along with business rates so one of those I guess.
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Post Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

The unscrupulous will never be tempted into playing ball though, if they can’t sneak their waste into domestic waste sites without a permit, it will get dumped in a lay by somewhere so the cost will be met by us & a very hefty one at that.
I don’t have a problem with an official checking the waste I’m tipping, if I’m dumping waste vinyl & dibond I would expect my collar felt, as would a kitchen fitter trying to dump a kitchen. All the waste ends up at the same sites anyway so why not allow commercials in for a small charge? Not everyone has a trade bin but could still use council facilities and ease the burden of cost to the councils. It would also help get everyone registered for a waste carriers license
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Post Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:39 am

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

Same all the way north. Can’t get in. Nightmare to get rid off.

Had a stack of old shop signs at one point taking up space. Called our bin company, maybe talking about 8 8ft x 4ft, possibly less. £135. Which I thought was a bit steep considering our bin is £4.95 a week.

Be much happier to pay a monthly fee. Quite happy to recycle as much as possible to.
Mad world we live in.
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Post Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:26 am

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

Do your councils not have a weighbridge for commercial waste? I know ours does as that's how I get rid of MDF waste. I have an old van, and forklift the MDF bins into the back. Once full I just run down to the weighbridge and you pay the charge. General waste is around £135 per tonne to get rid of. You just need the FREE lower tier licence to dispose of your own waste, and also high-viz etc on the site with an induction.

That's the 'small' charge for commercial waste, since business rates go straight to central government and its not the equivalent to council tax.

I do disagree with banning all commercial vehicles, ours allows 12 permits per address per year however, so you can go in whatever (but you have to tell them on the permit what van and reg, or if it is a hire).
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Post Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:44 pm

Re: West Lothian Council are harming my business

My dump has both commercial and household. I have a permit for the van that allows me 12 visits with domestic waste, which they check, otherwise it is onto the weighbridge off load and then weighed again. As it is normally just sign rubbish, app tape, backing paper and maybe the odd old sign it cost me £95, the minimum charge. What does annoy me thought is that app tape and the backing papers are not recyclable and as such they are chargeable on the weighbridge. Any recyclable material that is trade waste is not charged at my tip.

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