St Albans councillor arrested after local tip refuses garden waste

Local cllr Salih Gaygusuz stands outside the St Albans recycling centre where he was arrested when t

Local cllr Salih Gaygusuz stands outside the St Albans recycling centre where he was arrested when trying to dump garden waste there - Credit: Archant

A dispute over the disposal of garden waste at the St Albans tip has resulted in a councillor being locked up in a prison cell for four hours, and charged with common assault.

St Albans district Cllr for Marshalswick South Salih Gaygusuz is fuming about how he was recently treated at the recycling centre, Ronsons Way.

He explained that last Tuesday, September 16, he drove his Alfa Romeo GT coupe, a small two-door car, to the tip to get rid of garden waste, as part of an effort to tidy his yard ahead of his daughter’s wedding at the weekend.

Because of back pain problems the councillor had spread the waste, which included wet leaves, some soil and compost, across six small bags, rather than carrying three heavier bags.

Cllr Gaygusuz said that, having “used this site during all the years of living in this location for the last 40 years” he had not anticipated being told he could not dump his garden waste there.

As he began emptying his boot, a man “who claimed to be the manager of the site came up and said ‘you can’t dump that here’.”

Cllr Gaygusuz said that he replied: “Why, isn’t this a recycling site?”

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The man then allegedly told him he had too much waste, and suggested he have it collected instead.

After an exchange of words, where the councillor said that he was effectively being encouraged to flytip, he said he believed the man suggested he dispose of half of his waste at the tip, and have the remainder collected.

However, Cllr Gaygusuz alleges that when he tried to then dump part of his waste, the man tried to block his path.

Shortly afterwards, two police cars arrived at the tip with four officers, and he was taken to a cell for four hours.

A spokesman for Herts Police said that a 58 year old man of Southfield Way had been arrested and charged with common assault following an altercation at the refuse tip in Ronsons Way on September 16.

He is due before magistrates on October 7.