Fears mount over Welwyn Hatfield’s long waste disposal queue

PUBLISHED: 12:36 14 April 2017

Cole Green Recycling Centre, 
Picture: Karyn Haddon

Cole Green Recycling Centre, Picture: Karyn Haddon

Archant

The new garden waste collection charge could lengthen dangerously long queues at Welwyn Hatfield’s hard-pressed waste dump, according to worried critics.

Yesterday, (April 13) drivers waited as long as 80 minutes at the official tip and recycling centre at Cole Green on the busy A414, and last Friday others queued for 50 minutes.

Although the authority will still collect from households that have declined to pay the £35 annual fee for another week, critics say long queues at waste sites are a predictable consequence.

Mark Hewitt of Blakemere Road, Welwyn Garden City told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “Needless to say traffic did not slow down but often skimmed the standing traffic.“I was in this hazardous position for about 30 minutes (on April 7).

“Given the council advice to those residents who refuse to pay the £35 brown bin fee - to deposit the waste at this site - I’m sure I am not the only person to think that this situation will become worse and perhaps lead to an increase in fly-tipping.”

Borough councillor Kieran Thorpe, Labour group leader, said: “I am not surprised to hear about these problems.

“I raised the issue of sites like this being overwhelmed and the prospect of residents dangerously queuing along the A414.

“These concerns were completely ignored. These Tory councils need to stop making things worse and urgently review the demand for and design of Cole Green Waste Site – there’s no excuse for Welwyn Hatfield residents receiving such poor service.”

Lib Dem councillor Malcolm Cowan said: “This is entirely predictable. We forecast that people would take their waste to the tip and queues would spill out onto the A414.”

A spokesman for the county council, which runs the waste site, said: “At peak times any of our 17 household waste recycling centres can become extremely busy and queuing is probable.

“Cole Green is one of the smaller sites and this can exacerbate queues and delays.

“We do not own the land and have no long-term security, so options ( for redesign) are limited. We continue to search for a possible new location but this is a challenging process as appropriate land is difficult to find and waste facilities are not popular with neighbours.”

A borough council spokeswoman said: “We have often heard of people queuing to get into the Cole Green site, especially during traditionally busier times as the weather warms up.

As (this is) a Herts County Council managed facility, we don’t have any evidence to suggest that the number of people using this, or any of the other county tips, has gone up or down. It’s therefore impossible for us to comment further.”

Darren Helman of Hatfield, who waited for 80 minutes to get rid of a fridge yesterday, said: “Lorries were skimming past, and I felt my life

was in danger.”

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