FIFE COUNCIL has decided not to dump regulations banning double-axle trailers from its recycling centres.

The measure was brought in last summer following a review and was aimed at thwarting commercial users who move to cars and trailers to dispose of business waste.

A report to go to the council's environment and protective services committee today (Thursday) by chief operating officer Robin Baird says the decision has proved successful in reducing the amount of material brought to sites.

He acknowledged that the ban had brought with it some concerns regarding its effectiveness in controlling the use of the sites by traders without adversely affecting householders.

"At the time the access policy was written, it was recognised that double-axle trailers were predominately used by traders, however, following enforcement of the policy, it is also recognised that there are a small number of householders within Fife that own double-axle trailers and use these to access the recycling centres," he said.

"Experience has shown that exceptions could be managed where genuine exceptional circumstances are noted.

"All single-axle trailers using recycling centres to dispose of household waste must complete a declaration form and provide proof of address prior to disposing of any waste.

"There is no limit on the number of single-axle trailer visits but the data provided will be monitored to prevent waste crime."

The report records more than 500,000 visitors to recycling centres between January and June this year and only seven complaints from householders about the double-axle ban.

"There have been approximately 1,700 declaration forms completed identifying trailers accessing the site," added Mr Baird. "These figures confirm the initial assumption that double-axle trailers are predominately used by traders while most householders who own trailers have the single-axle type.

"It does, however, identify that there are a minority of householders with double-axle trailers and as such there is mitigation required for exceptional circumstances.

"To maintain the progress made in reducing unauthorised commercial use of recycling centres, it is proposed that the double-axle trailer ban remain in place at this time."

Facility users will still have to complete a declaration form confirming they are getting rid of household waste while householders wanting to use double-axle trailers will be considered under exceptional circumstances with prior approval.