Residents from Central Bedfordshire will no longer be allowed to take their waste to Hertfordshire’s network of recycling centres, after two local authorities failed to reach an agreement.

Hertfordshire County Council took the decision to restrict access to their 16 recycling centres in March – as part of a drive to make savings of £400,000.

They estimated that as many as one in five centre users had been travelling into the county from elsewhere – so the council was incurring ‘a net cost of waste migration’.

The local authority said that if neighbouring authorities wanted their own residents to access Hertfordshire facilities they would have to make a ‘reciprocal agreement’.

On Tuesday (November 14) councillors heard  neighbouring Central Bedfordshire had not reached an agreement with the county council.

As a result, their residents are no longer permitted to use Hertfordshire recycling centres. The ban came into force on November 1.

A reciprocal agreement with Cambridge was said to be ‘near to completion and implementation’.

Discussions with Essex – where movements between the counties are said to be ‘broadly similar’ – are ongoing.

Residents from other neighbouring authorities have already been banned from using Hertfordshire recycling sites.

However at the meeting of the council’s environment cabinet panel, Andrew McGinn – team leader for the recycling centre service – said enforcement of the bans had been limited, with staffing issues making it "difficult to carry out the required checks".

At the meeting Liberal Democrat Cllr Adrian England questioned the non-resident policy.

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But executive member for the environment Cllr Eric Buckmaster said Hertfordshire taxpayers were "effectively subsidising" those using the sites from other areas.

He added that the team at the county council was working hard to make sure it does work.

Meanwhile director of transport, waste and environment Simon Aries said there had be very few complaints from non-residents.

He said that once the agreement was in place with Cambridgeshire and Essex it would deliver £400,000-a-year savings.