Residents in Central Beds banned from using recycling centres in neighbouring Herts
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Residents from Central Bedfordshire will no longer be allowed to take their waste to Hertfordshire’s network of recycling centres.
Hertfordshire County Council took the decision to restrict access to its 16 recycling centres in March, as part of a drive to make savings of £400,000.
They estimated that as many as one in five visitors had been travelling into the county from elsewhere, so the council was incurring ‘a net cost of waste migration’.
And they said that if neighbouring authorities wanted its residents to access Hertfordshire facilities they would have to make a ‘reciprocal agreement’.
On Tuesday councillors heard Central Beds had not reached an agreement with the county council. (14/11)
The ban came into force on November 1, with a reciprocal agreement with Cambridge almost finalised
And it was reported that discussions with Essex, where movements between the counties are said to be ‘broadly similar’, are ongoing.
Residents from other neighbouring authorities have already been banned from using Hertfordshire recycling sites.
However at the meeting of the council’s environment cabinet panel, Andrew McGinn, team leader for the recycling centre service, said enforcement of the bans had been limited.
And he said staffing issues had made it ‘difficult to carry out the required checks on site with any consistency or to the required standard’.
Liberal Democrat Cllr Adrian England, however, questioned the non-resident policy.
But executive member for the environment Cllr Eric Buckmaster said Hertfordshire ‘taxpayers’ were ‘effectively subsidising’ those using the sites from other areas.
And he said the team at the county council was working hard to make sure it does work.
Meanwhile, director of transport, waste and environment Simon Aries said there had been very few complaints from non-residents.
And he said that once the agreement was in place with Cambridgeshire and Essex it would deliver £400,000-a-year savings.
DATA presented to the environment cabinet panel shows that increasing amounts of waste left at the council’s network of recycling centres are being diverted from landfill.
Around 80,000 tonnes of waste is left at the 16 recycling centres a year by residents, who make around 1.5 million visits annually.
And data shows that now more of that waste, which is separated into 33 different types of materials, is being recycled.