Resident’s anger at ‘unbelievably’ rigid recycling centre permits

Robert Hambling was turned away from Berkhamsted Recycling Centre because he did not have a permit for his trailer
Robert Hambling was turned away from Berkhamsted Recycling Centre because he did not have a permit for his trailer

A resident has branded Herts County Council’s new rules on permits at their recycling centres as ‘unbelievably rigid.’

Robert Hambling, from Berkhamsted, visited the town’s recycling centre earlier this month to try and dispose of a friend’s old garden shed and a small Christmas tree.

Mr Hambling put the shed on a roofrack on top of his car and the tree onto a small trailer which he attached to the back of his car and drove to the recycling centre in Northfield Road in the town.

He said: “When I got to the centre I was told I was not allowed to enter because I had a trailer and didn’t have a permit.

“I said could I come in if I took the trailer home first and they said no.

“I asked if I could come back the next day but they said no again.

“They were totally uncooperative.”

Under new rules introduced on January 5, anyone wishing to dispose of household waste at a recycling centre in Hertfordshire needs to apply for a permit if they are using a van, pick-up truck or vehicle and trailer combination.

The permit is free but is only valid for 12 visits during the course of a year.

Mr Hambling said: “If you have a permit where you can basically only do one dump a month it makes it very difficult for people to get rid of big trees.

“Last year, I had a situation where I wanted to get rid of a large tree and it took me four trips.

“What would I have done if the permits had been in place then?

“It almost encourages people to flytip and if this is how the council operate, it is no wonder we have a problem with flytipping in Dacorum.”

When asked why a limit of 12 visits a year was imposed, Hertfordshire County Council told us: “On average, most residents do not use their local Household Waste Recycling Centre more than once a month to dispose of household waste.

“We therefore have based the 12 visits a year on this information.

“If you use all 12 visits within the 12 month period and still need to use the sites, you can re-apply for a new permit by emailing”

A spokesman added: “The van and trailer permit scheme was brought in with an aim to reduce the misuse of the service by traders and other commercial users.

“We appreciate it will take time for everyone to get used to these changes, but our aim is to ensure that your local recycling centre is used correctly and not to fall victim to trade or commercial waste dumping, which ultimately is of the cost of the Hertfordshire taxpayer.”