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TOUGH TIMES: Lack of lorry drivers nearly caused Garston waste transfer centre to close

 Published on: 20th September 2021   |   By: Amneet Kaur   |   Category: Uncategorized

Waterdale Recycling Centre in Garston was nearly forced to shut due to a shortage of lorry drivers; councils were also asked to take its rubbish elsewhere.

The council has been experiencing issues throughout the summer due to the lack of lorry drivers and it came really close to shutting the local Waterdale waste transfer station.

The site in Garston is where waste collected across Hertfordshire is taken before being sent to be disposed of and recently the place has been struggling to cope with the amount of rubbish coming in.

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: “Our waste transfer station at Waterdale has been under significant pressure over the summer due to a combination of a national shortage of HGV drivers, pandemic-related staff absences and a 10 per cent increase in the volume of waste being collected over the last 18 months.

“Fortunately, by working closely with our partner authorities in the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership, we have, so far, been able to manage this extra pressure and the district and borough councils have not needed to turn lorries away or to take their waste elsewhere.

“Currently 65 per cent of Hertfordshire’s residual waste goes through the Waterdale transfer station, where it is loaded on to larger lorries before being sent on to recovery and disposal facilities outside the county.

“We are already taking a number of steps to reduce pressure at Waterdale and increase capacity across the county, including buying land to expand the Waterdale transfer station, consulting on plans for a new transfer station next to our recycling centre in Ware, and developing plans for a transfer station in the north of the county near Letchworth.”

At a meeting of the county council’s environment panel, head of waste management Matt King said the council had supported lobbying of government, to try to introduce measures like increasing driver testing capacity.

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