FURIOUS taxi drivers stepped into the waste wars issue after they were banned from using household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) across West Berkshire.
Since the permits were introduced they have been turned away from HWRCs because their vehicles are classed as commercial, despite being also used for private use.
Rodney Nemeth, of Newbury, last week said he was considering escalating his concerns to the chief executive of the district council, after being turned away from the Newtown Road Household Waste Recycling Centre in his taxi.
He said: “I was with my aunt and between us we pay £2,800 in council tax, yet we were prevented from dropping two black bags of household waste, as we were considered commercial tippers.”
Mr Nemeth said he had since received a communication from the council indicating that taxis would be allowed into the HWRCs six times a year, after providing proof of ID including driving licence, V5 document and council tax bill.
“You couldn’t make it up,” said Mr Nemeth.
Taxi driver Andy Lippitt, also of Newbury, has complained about the unfairness of the ban, given that, in addition to paying council tax, wage earners across the country also pay income taxes to the Government.
“That [the permits] would be fine if the council was solely funded by those paying council tax – that’s not the case,” said Mr Lippitt, adding that recycling and waste disposal had been “national policy for decades”.
Mr Lippitt had also been forced to turn down customers who wanted him to take them to a West Berkshire recycling centre to dispose of rubbish, owing to the new regulations.
“I said ‘No, I can’t do it’,” he said. “What bubble are the council] living in?
“Is this in any way, shape or form beneficial to the residents of this area?”
Meanwhile, an increase in fly tipping has been reported around the area, including just over the Berkshire border.
North Hampshire residents banned from using the Newtown Road recycling centre – a stone’s throw away – instead face a 15-mile journey to the nearest Hampshire facility in Basingstoke.