A COUNCILLOR is fuming after discovering that two York letting agents are each being allowed to dump up to 10 tonnes of student household waste free of charge by City of York Council.
Landlords are also being given permits allowing them to dispose of some household waste from student accommodation at Hazel Court household waste recycling centre for no charge, said Independent Osbaldwick councillor Mark Warters.
He said the authority had told him that students clearing out rented property at the end of term could also use vans or trailers to dump waste by producing a valid student's union card.
Cllr Warters claimed the arrangement was unfair when landlords and letting agencies were making plenty of money from lucrative student lets and other York businesses were having to pay fees to dump waste.
He said the arrangement was 'ludicrous' when it was considered that students and landlords did not have to pay council tax on their properties and when residents who did pay council tax were facing the prospect of increased charges for dumping waste, along with possible reductions in waste collections.
A council spokeswoman said the authority had followed in the footsteps of many other councils and universities by launching its Smarter York student campaign three years ago in partnership with the city's universities.
"One of the reasons the campaign targets student areas was to address historic problems around rubbish being dumped in back lanes," she said.
"Allowing letting agents/landlords/students some flexibility to dispose of student property rubbish has helped to reduce the number of complaints and jobs that have come through to the council, meaning that additional resources do not have to be found to deal with rubbish that might otherwise have been left in lanes outside properties.
"However, the arrangements for dealing with student waste is due to be reviewed and a report will be taken to Cabinet later this year.”
Environmental services Cabinet member Cllr Dave Merrett said the authority needed to avoid 'cutting off its nose to spite its face' and ending up spending more money clearing up illegally dumped waste, where the culprits could not be traced, than on the concessions scheme.
However, in the light of tightening financial resources, it was right to look again at the policy, he added.