Trailer is just three centimetres too big for tip
Councillors fear that strict length limits on vehicles entering recycling sites could be encouraging residents to commit fly-tipping.
Paul Maiden and Bob Brierley, both independent representatives for Hindley Green, were left furious after being denied entry to Chanters HWRC (Household Waste Recycling Centre) in Atherton, when their trailer was reportedly 2.8cm over the three-metre length limit for vehicles to enter the premises.
Officials brought out a tape measure to show that the vehicle just missed the maximum size requirement.
Ironically the pair had been on a community litter-pick with resident Julian Marsh - getting rid of the very type of fly-tipped waste they now fear will be more prevalent because of the restrictions.
They had driven to the tip with Coun Brierley’s single-axle trailer to dispose of the waste, which included fallen branches, dog waste bags and plastic bottles.
The site restrictions led the councillors to the Kirkless HWRC in Ince instead, which has a 4m vehicle limit.
But with a six-mile distance between the two sites, the trio feared the stringent measures could encourage some residents to dump their rubbish in public rather than go out of their way to another recycling centre.
“All this is doing is encouraging fly-tipping, if local residents are being turned away from dumping rubbish at a rubbish site,” said Coun Brierley.
“We are putting an official complaint in, we are not having this. I never thought I’d say this but I can understand now why people fly-tip,” he added.
“We’ve been helping the community and have been treated very badly.”
Coun Maiden said: “It’s just diabolical. They came out with a tape measure, and said it was 2.8cm longer than it should be. But they measured from the tow bar.
“There was hardly anyone there, they could have just let us in. The general attitude was terrible.”
He went on: “It’s just one of the reasons I am putting in motions about changing the bin rotas.
“It’s their (Wigan Council) duty of care, they should meet us halfway at the very least. It was a complete mess from start to finish.”
Mr Marsh said: “We were doing community action work, because there’s no money for it, yet they turned us away. The council has The Deal which encourages Joe Public to do some of its old work for it and this is the thanks we get!
“We had to do a massive detour, wasting fuel, time and effort.”
The tips are operated by FCC Environment.
But Paul Barton, director for environment at Wigan Council, responded to the claims. He said: “Due to site restrictions trailers at Chanters recycling centre must be under 3m and this is made clear on our website,” he said.
“The councillors were advised to dispose of their rubbish at our Kirkless recycling centre where the trailer limit is 4m, which we understand they did without any issues.
“More information about accessing all of our household recycling centres and the permit requirements are available on our website.”