Hailsham man told trailer is ‘quarter of an inch too long’ for him to use recycling site

A man from Hailsham has been told he cannot use a recycling site as his trailer is a quarter of an inch (6.35mm) longer than the maximum length.

Norman Miller, 73, of London Road, said he has to use the trailer as he cannot fit grass and hedge trimmings in his car.

Mr Miller said, “I have no other means to take my grass and hedge cuttings away. I have to take it down to the local tip.

“I have got a Smart car and I cannot fit it into the boot.”

Norman Miller with his car and trailer SUS-210921-165437001

Mr Miller said he has had the trailer for 30 years and has never had an issue with its size before Monday, September 13.

He said, “I took it down there last week when they refused it.”

Mr Miller said he was told that he would be reported if he did not follow the rules.

He subsequently disposed of his trimmings, with the site’s permission, but was told he would have to find an alternative in the future.

Norman Miller measuring his trailer SUS-210921-165501001

East Sussex County Council say trailers at the Hailsham site must be no longer than 1.2 metres (48 inches), not including the tow bar.

Mr Miller said the only other time he had been turned away from the recycling site in Station Road was during lockdown.

He said, “It is petty for the sake of a quarter of an inch.

“It is an eighth of an inch either end.

Norman Miller's car and trailer SUS-210921-165531001

“What else can I do?”

Mr Miller said he will be ‘really stuck’ if he cannot use the site in the future, although the council has told the 73-year-old that he could go to other sites where longer trailers are allowed.

Mr Miller said, “We have got all these problems in the world. We have got the pandemic and they are making such a fuss for a quarter of an inch.”

In a joint statement from the council and Veolia, who run the site, a spokesperson said, “To ensure the safety of site users and Veolia staff, we have an advertised policy in place restricting longer trailers at our smaller household waste recycling centres.

“On this occasion, despite the resident’s trailer exceeding the maximum trailer length permitted at the Hailsham site, he was allowed to dispose of his green waste but was advised that he would need to use an alternative site if he wanted to use the trailer in future. A number of other sites will allow longer trailers, including Eastbourne.

“The rules and policies for the household waste recycling centres can be found on the East Sussex County Council website under the rubbish and recycling section and are also displayed at the site entrances.”