Uttlesford councillors are calling on Herts and Essex county councils to come to a reciprocal arrangement after Essex residents were banned from using recycling centres in Herts.

Last week, Hertfordshire County Council's cabinet agreed to bar people who live outside of the county to use recycling centres run by the local authority.

This means that residents living in places like Stansted will have to travel further to get rid of their rubbish in Saffron Walden or Harlow, rather than using closer facilities in Bishop's Stortford.

Liberal Democrat councillors representing Stansted, Birchanger, Farnham, Manuden, Berden and Ugley have condemned the decision - which comes into force on April 1.

Deputy group leader Cllr Geoffrey Sell, of Stansted North ward, said: "Residents in villages in the south of Uttlesford who usually made a short journey to Bishop's Stortford's recycling centre would now have 25 mile round trip to get rid of their rubbish in Saffron Walden or Harlow rather than 'just around the corner' in Hertfordshire.

"I fear that this change could lead to an increase in fly-tipping in Uttlesford."

Similar proof-of-address rules were introduced at Essex County Council's tip in Saffron Walden in mid-March, along with a controversial booking system.


During a debate requesting Essex County Council reverse these changes, Cllr Ayub Khan, representing Stansted South and Birchanger, also got Uttlesford District Council to write to Herts County Council opposing the new rules.

He said: "I think that the two county councils have to get around the table to agree formal reciprocal arrangements between them which allows residents to use their nearest tip.

"It doesn’t make sense when local councils are trying to reduce Co2 emissions to force people to make longer car trips."

Herts County Council's portfolio holder for the environment, Cllr Eric Buckmaster, explained that the residents-only policy was - at a conservative estimate - expected to save the council £450,000 annually.

Currently more non-residents are thought to be using the Bishop's Stortford recycling centre than residents.

Under the new rules, staff will be asking for proof of address - and the council is hopefuly the changes will reduce queues at the centres.