OVERFLOWING recycling banks at Tesco in Quedgeley have had to be closed, cordoned off and are being patrolled by security guards amid fears of a potential disaster.
The banks are right next to the supermarket’s petrol station and were overflowing to such an extent on Boxing Day that it looked more akin to “Helmand Province”, according to one user.
Now, people are being turned away and the banks might be shut for good to avoid the real possibility of what would be an enormous explosion and fire if a lit flame were to go anywhere near the piles of rubbish.
Tesco said the issue has been building up in recent weeks thanks to irresponsible people fly-tipping all sorts of inappropriate waste at the site.
Customers are being told that the banks will be shut for the foreseeable future and possibly removed after the Boxing Day pile-up.
One staff member said: “If a match had been dropped, the whole store could have been up in flames.”
One customer, who tried to take extra recycling built up over the festive break to the banks on Tuesday, said: “They are cordoned off, they’ve put cones all around them and a security man is making sure no-one goes near them, they’re not letting anyone in there.
“I personally have got a lot of stuff to recycle and I don’t really want to have to take it all to the tip, but I’m not sure what the alternative is.
“A lot of people will have the same problem, there will be all sorts of extra stuff that they want to get rid of properly.”
Twitter user Shane Uzzell posted a picture of the recycling banks - which are barely visible under a mountain of overflowing rubbish - on Boxing Day.
I think Quedgeley Tesco need to sort their recycling zone pic.twitter.com/PbAsbIflfc
— Shane Uzzell (@ShaneUzzell) December 26, 2013
But Tesco said the issue has been building up for a while and simply came to a head on that afternoon.
A spokesman said: “We know how much local residents in Quedgeley value the recycling facilities we provide.
“However, in recent weeks we’ve had a problem with fly-tipping at the site.
“We took the precaution of closing the recycling facility, which is close to our petrol station, as the build-up of rubbish presented a fire risk.
“We’re working with our recycling contractors to resolve this issue as quickly as possible, and in the meantime would ask our customers to recycle elsewhere.”