Surrey County Council claims to be the first authority to have devised an application, or app, which it uses to check number plates of vehicles using its 15 recycling centres.

The council claims if it had no trade waste controls in place up to 13% of rubbish dumped at could be classed as trade waste costing its taxpayers about £1m.

To fight this the council’s BlackBerry app is part of a new van and trailer permit scheme aimed at stopping trade waste being dumped at recycling centres for free.

Staff can immediately check registered vehicles on a secure database of vans, pick-up trucks and other vehicles with large trailers.

Surrey residents can sign up for the scheme for free and so far more than 7,000 of them have done so.

Drivers of vehicles not registered on its database at residential addresses in Surrey or motorists attempting to dump trade waste will be turned away.

Traders will be sent to a weigh station, where they will be charged for the disposal of their waste, and residents will be asked to apply for a permit.

Surrey’s cabinet member for Environment, Dr Lynne Hack, said: “I believe Surrey is leading the way by being the first local authority to use mobile technology in this way.

“The software for the application was developed in-house and the expertise of our staff and the huge amount of effort they put in are both factors that contribute to our overall aim of becoming a world class authority.

“The scheme has been well received, not least because local taxpayers know they’re not footing the bill for waste they don’t produce.”

Luke Walsh

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