Father’s anger as family ‘van’ denied access to new tip
A father from Ashford was left angry and confused after twice being refused entry to the town’s new household waste recycling centre due to a dispute over the size of his vehicle.
John Rumbold visited the newly reopened tip on Monday in his unmarked Vauxhall Vivaro but was turned away at the gate by a supervisor who said that commercial vehicles were not allowed to use the Kent County Council centre.
Mr Rumbold said: “I was told I was not allowed to unload because I was in a van, so I was left sitting outside the tip with a load of rubbish in the back of my vehicle.
“My car is not a works van. I use it every day for the school run and to get around in.
“We chose to have a big car as it is easy to throw the kids’ bikes in the back when we are out for the day. It’s more like a mini van but it does have two seats in the back where the kids sit.”
After being turned away he checked the rules on KCC’s website regarding vans entering the tip. It states that if your van is the only vehicle in your household you may qualify for a voucher to allow you to dispose of your waste at the site.
The criteria also states that a van is classed as having a load-carrying capacity instead of rear seats and panels instead of windows.
Mr Rumbold’s Vivaro has windows and rear seats.
He added: “I don’t see why I should be penalised by having to apply for a voucher when on both points my vehicle doesn’t meet the criteria.
The voucher only allows to 12 visits a year and I don’t see why I should be restricted.
“We waited a long time for the tip to re-open and I don’t see why the council didn’t send out a leaflet with all the new rules. We have had plenty of information through about the new wheelie bins.
“I’m not happy because we pay all these bills just to be turned away.”
Taking the printed out criteria with him on Tuesday, Mr Rumbold, of Litte Burton Farm, again attempted to use the tip, but was agin refused entry.
He said: “I still need to get rid of the rubbish and obviously I won’t fly-tip. What is annoying is that they didn’t look at my rubbish in the back, if they had they would
‘My car is not a works van. I use it every day for the school run and to get around in’
have seen that I only had rubbish from the garden and an old paddling pool. My only option now is to pay to dispose of my rubbish.”
A spokesperson for Kent County Council said: “Since October 1, 2012, commercial type vehicles, such as vans and pick-ups, have been excluded from accessing all Kent’s Household Waste Recycling Centres, following a review, public consultation and Cabinet Member decision.
“This policy has also been adopted by most other waste disposal authorities, and is one measure to combat former abuse of these facilities by businesses and traders illicitly depositing commercial waste at the sites.
“This had been costing Kent taxpayers approximately £500,000 per year in unnecessary disposal charges.
“There is a vehicle voucher scheme available to residents whose sole vehicle is excluded under this policy, to ensure they have access to dispose of their own household waste at these facilities.”
What do you think? Write to Kentish Express, 34-36 North Street, Ashford, TN24 8JR or email kentishexpress@thekmgroup. co.uk
John Rumbold who was turned away from the Cobbs Wood Industrial Estate beacause he was in a van which he uses as a family car