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NOT sorting out problems at a “nightmare” rubbish tip could risk someone getting seriously hurt, a councillor has warned.

The reuse and recycling centre in Chigwell Road, Woodford Green is the only one of its kind in Redbridge and has seen an even bigger surge in use since the council stopped collecting garden waste for free.

But Liberal Democrat Cllr Gwyneth Deakins says although the site has always been busy, recently things have reached “tipping point”.

She claims the tip cannot cope with the new levels of demand and managers Shanks are not running the site well enough, which together can mean nail-biting near misses between vehicles and pedestrians.

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Cllr Gwyneth Deakins

The Roding Cllr said: “It’s always been chaotic, but thing have really got worse recently.

“Since the garden waste fiasco, things have reached tipping point – it’s just not fit for purpose.

“Sooner or later an accident is going to happen. Something needs to be done before someone gets hurt.”

Cllr Deakins claims the extra demand and poor layout of the site mean cars have to dodge in and out of each other as they attempt to park up.

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Queues at the tip in Chigwell Road, Woodford Green

Meanwhile others who have already got out to go and dump their waste have to walk straight through the flow of traffic, which she says can often end up in road rage incidents and near accidents.

She says residents also have concerns about the lengthy queues at the site, which have been known to stretch all the way to Charlie Brown’s Roundabout.

Conservative Cllr for Church End Emma Best is also worried and says the tip has been an “absolute nightmare” since the council stopped picking up garden waste free of charge earlier this year.

She claims the “failings” of the new paid-for scheme mean many have abandoned it altogether and are forced to dump green waste at the already congested Chigwell Road recycling centre.

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A pond of water has gathered where road conditions have deteriorated outside the site 

She said: “I’ve been queuing for 20 minutes to get in and have heard similar stories from residents on the doorstep.

“When you eventually get there you see the majority of traffic is because of garden waste.

“Ideally the council will admit defeat and look at entirely different scheme, but failing that we need more pick-up spots and extended opening hours.”

Cllr Deakins is desperate to see some investment at the site, claiming there have been no improvements made in the 13 years she has been using it. 

But she fears because the council is tied into a 25-year contract with Shanks, the contractors are dragging their feet.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Cllr Deakins says the metal steps users need to climb to dump their waste are 'dodgy'

She said: “Shanks is sitting pretty with another 10 years or so of their contract that is using up public money and not doing anything about this.

“It’s about time our residents got value for that money.

“I know times are tough financially but people are worried about their own health and safety.

“If nothing is done it’ll be an absolute disgrace.”

A Redbridge Council spokesman said: “The council is aware of the limitations at the site and is in discussion with Shanks and the East London Waste Authority on improvements.”

A spokesperson for Shanks said: "The Chigwell Road site provides a vital recycling service to East London and the safety of our visitors and employees is our number one priority.

"We manage the facility on behalf of ELWA and the Councils and we continuously take measures to improve our visitors’ experience, and thanks to the hard work and safety culture of our staff, the site has an excellent safety record.

"If any member of the public has any concerns, we would encourage them to contact us directly."