Tip contractors blasted for ‘closing gates early’

The household waste site Hemel Hempstead
The household waste site Hemel Hempstead

A retired credit manager has hit out at the contractor which runs Hemel’s waste recycling centre for shutting the gates before closing time.

Dave Bareham, 76, said he took his garden waste to the site on Eastman Way at 3.40pm on a Monday – comfortably before the advertised closing time of 4pm – but said he was turned away because a lorry had gone in to collect the waste containers.

Mr Bareham, who lives in Warners End, said: “I got there 20 minutes before closing but a man came out and told me because the pick-up truck was there, we couldn’t go in.

“By this time there were about 15 cars queuing to get in, and some of them turned round but I and the two cars in front of me refused.

“We pay our council tax and yet the tip is closed two days a week now.

“I told them they’re encouraging flytipping. We felt like dumping our rubbish outside the gates in protest.”

Eventually the Amey staff member relented and allowed Mr Bareham and the two others access to the site, which is now closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays since cuts in hours in January this year.

Mr Bareham said: “I know it’s not their fault – it’s a management issue. Their hands are tied.”

A spokesman for Herts County Council said the site’s contractor Amey had received only one recent complaint about early closures.

The spokesman confirmed that if the haulage contractor arrives early, it ‘must wait until all site users have vacated before servicing a site’.

They added: “Additional site servicing during opening times is sometimes still required to free up capacity for certain materials, which allows the facility to continue to safely receive waste.”