Man refuses to pay tip charge, is locked in waste centre

PUBLISHED: 06:30 16 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:18 17 June 2018

Archant 2018

An extraordinary stand-off took place at a Norfolk tip as customers were locked in when a man refused to pay to dump his wood.

The Recycling Centre at Hempton. Picture: Ian BurtThe Recycling Centre at Hempton. Picture: Ian Burt

Staff at Hempton Recycling Centre, near Fakenham, locked the gates to stop pensioner Chris Feller leaving when he would not pay £3 to dump an old bamboo blind.

Police were called after the 71-year-old from Burnham Market threw his waste on the ground on Wednesday.

He eventually paid the money as other customers - who were also unable to leave - became increasingly annoyed.

“I have never had to pay for [dumping] wood before,” Mr Feller said. “But [this time] they said you can take it away or pay us.

“I threw it on the floor because they blocked the bin and they said ‘right, you are going to be done for fly-tipping’.

“The upshot was they locked the gates.”

On April 1, Norfolk County Council removed a concession which allowed people to leave up to 80 litres of DIY waste at its recycling centres for no charge.

It means DIYers now have to pay £3 for getting rid of a bag of rubble and timber items.

Mr Feller said he was unaware of the new system, but claims he told staff he would pay if they sent him a letter.

He told them they could get his details from his vehicle’s registration number.

But staff instead closed the gates, with around four other vehicles still inside, Mr Feller said.

“It was for around half-an-hour,” he said. “They then started letting vehicles out one at a time.”

He said he eventually paid out of “courtesy” to the other customers.

The county council confirmed an incident occurred on Wednesday, June 13, where a customer refused to pay to dispose of waste.

A council spokesman said the customer then proceeded to dump their waste on the floor.

“Staff had tried unsuccessfully to engage with this person regarding the DIY charges, so the police were contacted,” the council spokesman said.

Norfolk Police confirmed they were called to the tip at around 11.50am to reports of a public order incident.

A spokesman said words of advice were given to the suspect, but no further action was required.

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