Cameras are branded 'a waste of cash'
A SURVEILLANCE system at a household recycling centre has come to end – for now.
Father of five Andrew Dean, from Trethurgy, has branded the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANRP) at the St Austell site as a waste of money.
The trial scheme targeted businesses which try to avoid paying for trade waste to be legally disposed of by using household dumps instead.
The ANPR monitored the number of visits made by drivers each month.
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But when Mr Dean visited last weekend he was told by an employee it had been stopped because of data protection regulations.
Mr Dean said he was told it had been "switched off" and that the authority did not have the correct licence to use it.
Cornwall Council says this is not true and it is simply because the trial has come to an end.
Mr Dean said: "They must have spent thousands of pounds on it but it is a waste of money. I don't understand why they want the ANPR and what it is going to achieve."
He says the only people who lose out are people such as his parents who visit with small loads but often. He claims the real offenders will learn to work the system.
"My dad always forgets to put the rubbish out and will take a couple of bags down to the centre on the Monday, then cut the grass on Wednesday and take those bags down.
"This might flag him up as a frequent user but he is only throwing away one or two bags at a time.
"Some people go in there with a 10-tonne trailer filled to the gunwales but the system doesn't show how much rubbish you're dumping. It does not pick out those people who are abusing the system."
A Cornwall Council spokesperson said the ANPR cameras were installed earlier this year as part of a trial.
"The trial aimed to assess their effectiveness in reducing the amount of waste brought in by businesses who wish to avoid paying for the disposal of trade waste and to develop an effective way of monitoring the use of permits.
"Now that the trial has ended, the cameras have been turned off.
"The council is in the process of evaluating the trial and establishing the formal requirements for the ongoing use of ANPR cameras at this and other locations across Cornwall."