Pedalling recycler told: On your bike

An ECO-CONSCIOUS gardener who packed a trailer full of grass cuttings has hit out after being turned away from a recycling centre – because he was towing it on a bicycle.

Ray Duggleby was turned away from his local council recycling site because it was considered a health and safety risk. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Ray Duggleby was told by council officials that only motorised vehicles were allowed on the site for health and safety reasons, even though there are pedestrians on site.

Mr Duggleby said his only wish had been to do “the right thing” when he trimmed the hedge at the back of his home in Beverley because the brown waste bin supplied by East Riding Council for garden waste was already full.

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The 66-year-old is a keen cyclist and decided to adapt his trailer in order to allow him to attach it to his bicycle, but was shocked when he was turned away from the recycling centre in Weel.

He said: “I just couldn’t believe it. I thought I was doing the right thing but then they told me that ‘you’re only allowed in if you’re towing your trailer using a car’.

“They said my bike classed as a wheelbarrow, which I couldn’t understand because you don’t push it.

“I like to cycle, it’s good for the environment and I don’t believe in fly tipping.

“I try to do as much as I can to encourage my neighbours to recycle and I thought that the council wanted to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

“After this I feel as though they actually only want to recycle if it’s easy for them.

“It’s very hypocritical of them to pretend they are in support of recycling when they stand by a decision like this.”

He added: “I feel very upset and angry at what has happened. I cycled two miles there to recycle and I had to take it all home.”

A spokesman for the Tory-run authority said the Weel site was a very busy one with a constant flow of traffic that may put cyclists in danger.

The spokesman said: “For this reason there would be concern for a cyclist who is moving around among cars and vans, especially when they are reversing.

“Mr Duggleby will have been advised for his own safety not to use a bicycle on the site.”

George McManus, the Labour Party Parliamentary spokesman for Beverley, called Mr Duggleby “an example to us all” and said the council should be encouraging him in his care for the environment.

“Ray contacted me and asked if I could help, so I checked it out and it’s true,” said Mr McManus.

“The council say that, for health and safety reasons, he’s not allowed to drop his waste at the site by bicycle.

“They say they’d be worried for him because of vehicle movements on site, even though people walk across the site all the time and the maximum speed of cars is in the region of 5mph.

“Ray is an example to us all. He is a true eco-warrior. By cycling he’s keeping down his carbon footprint.

“By taking his waste to a proper site he’s having it recycled. By refusing to fly-tip, he’s helping to keep Beverley tidy.”

He added: “The council should be encouraging people like Ray, not putting him off.

“In order to get to the site he cycles along roads with 40mph speed limits and yet he’s not allowed to go to the re-cycling centre.

“If the site is unsuitable for people like Ray, then the council should find somewhere else.

“Or they could just show some common sense and change the rules.”