Changes to recycling centres will make “unprecedented” fly-tipping levels even worse, a town council has said.

From October 31, the centres in Chigwell and Waltham Abbey will no longer take DIY and construction waste as Essex County Council tries to crack down on illegal dumping at sites.

Commercial vehicles - including small vans, pick-up trucks and trailers with more than one axle - will also be banned, with the changes coming to 12 sites countywide.

Waltham Abbey Town Council has slammed the move.

Town clerk Kathryn Richmond said: “Whilst the town council applauds the county council for their efforts to reduce the waste disposal costs, we do not believe this reduction in service is a suitable way forward.

“In Waltham Abbey’s case, we are surrounded by Epping Forest, the Lee Valley and agricultural land, we are already experiencing fly-tipping in unprecedented numbers.

“To reduce the option to use the re-cycling site in Waltham Abbey will only exacerbate this situation.

“The proposed alternative at Harlow is some 12 miles away, a 24 mile round trip.

“Some people will, we feel sure, be even more tempted to dump their rubbish in this area.

“We, as the town council, strongly object to this decision by the county council.”

It was recently revealed that two dumps are removed from the forest every day.

In Waltham Abbey “large amounts” of restaurant construction waste was dumped in Sewardstone Road, and bricks, planks and toilet seats being dumped across the road in Pick Hill.

Laundry Lane was closed for six weeks last year after a huge fly-tip blocked the road.

The county council claimed the changes are needed because rubbish dumped illegally at recycling centres is costing taxpayers “hundreds of thousands of pounds”.

A spokesman said: “‘Man with a van’ operators offering cheap rubbish clearance, property developers and independent building and home improvement trades have swamped many sites.

“Local facilities have seen the amount of DIY and construction waste alone leap by over 50 per cent in the last two years.”

The change will save money, reduce queues and prevent daytime closures, he added.

County councillor Simon Walsh, cabinet member for waste and environment, said: “The taxpayer cannot continue to pick up the bill for businesses which don’t dispose of their waste properly.

“These operational changes will stop people unlawfully disposing of business and trade waste at recycling centres at the expense of the taxpayer, whilst still providing the facility for residents to dispose of their legitimate DIY waste when carrying out ad-hoc work at home themselves.”

For more information about the changes, visit