A FORMER Bolton councillor says a new permit system in force at tips crashed on the day it launched.

And Stuart Lever, owner of U Drive in Astley Bridge has slammed the system to access recycling centre when in certain vehicles as 'lengthy and bureaucratic.'

Under a new system which came in to force this week, residents need a free permit to take their own vans, pickups or twin axle trailers to recycling centres across Greater Manchester.

But according to Mr Lever one of his customers had tried to dispose of household rubbish the day before it came into force to be turned away.

And when she tried to apply for a permit, the system crashed.

He explained: “On the first day within 25 minutes, the system collapsed.

“It is a good initiative, but it is ill thought out when put into practice.

“This is a plea really for the council to allow us to sort out the permits which would make things easier, and for them to work with us.

“Customers need the same paperwork to hire a van as they do to get a permit, so they could collect this with their van.”

Mr Lever criticised the steps involved, describing them as “lengthy and bureaucratic”, and that he even applied for a permit to test the system, and said it was rejected due to his utility bill not being the correct date.

He said: “They could make the system work and still achieve what they want with trade waste, but it needs to be more relaxed.”

Mr Lever also shared concerns that if people are being turned away due to issues with the system that this “may result in fly tipping because of the system either not working or because of the bureaucracy of the system”.

He added: “I accept the principal of what they are trying to do because of the cost of trade waste on the council, but it is more expensive to pick fly tipping off the street.”

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) said: “The new van permit scheme is an extension of measures introduced in February 2020 to prevent traders from using household waste recycling centres to dispose of trade waste illegally. The permits are free for any resident who uses a van, pickup truck or twin axle trailer to dispose of their household waste.

“Many local authorities already have similar permit schemes in place to manage access to recycling centres. This helps to ensure that these services, which are funded by council taxes, are preserved for genuine residents of the local authority area and not used to dispose of illegal trade waste, a practice estimated to cost around £5 million a year in unpaid fees.

“Anyone attempting to dispose of trade waste is signposted to other facilities and provided with information on how to dispose of their waste responsibly and legally. Fly-tipping is an offence, and enforcement teams are working together across Greater Manchester to monitor fly-tipping and will investigate and prosecute where appropriate.

“We will be working with van hire companies across Greater Manchester to ensure residents are fully aware of the permit scheme before hiring a van. To date, more than 1,600 applications have been submitted through the system, and any issues reported are investigated promptly by SUEZ.”