September 13, 2021 11:36 AM

A combination of a shortage of lorry drivers resulting from Brexit, an increase in waste during the pandemic and a lack of long term planning has left Herts County Council struggling to deal with the household waste that is collected across the county. The problems were revealed in a report to the council's Environment Cabinet panel and mean that the council's main waste transfer facility at Waterdale north of Watford has been under great pressure to cope with volumes of waste.

Liberal Democrat Environment spokesperson Steve Jarvis said, "Everyone is affected by the shortage of HGV drivers resulting from Brexit but Hertfordshire's position is made worse by the way in which the Conservatives have decided to deal with the county's rubbish over many years. After two abortive attempts to build a massive energy from waste plant, one of which was in the wrong place and the other of which was blocked by the government, they are reduced to sending waste miles away to anywhere that has some spare capacity.

"This makes it very difficult to deal with problems like the increase in waste and the lack of drivers. This should have been addressed before the current problems arose but given that it wasn't the council should be working with nearby councils to come up with shared solutions to this problem in the future."

The council does have plans to expand Waterdale and to open two more waste transfer stations, which would ease the situation, but these will all take several years to build.