Plans to expand Hertfordshire’s largest waste transfer station have inched closer after leading councillors backed the proposed purchase of a neighbouring site.

Hertfordshire County Council is on the verge of buying land next door to its Waterdale Recycling Centre for £4.55 million.

The council wants to expand its waste transfer station off the A405 into Brookdell Goods Yard.

The transfer station, which is separate from the public recycling centre, is very busy, taking in around 60 per cent of Hertfordshire's residual waste.

Dustbin lorries and trucks can sometimes arrive at the same time but the current site is too small and often, drivers are left waiting to enter the site from the A405 dual carriageway.

Watford Observer: Waste vehicles queuing into the waste transfer station at WaterdaleWaste vehicles queuing into the waste transfer station at Waterdale

At around midday today, a dozen or so dustbin lorries entered and left the waste transfer station in Garston in little under ten minutes with a queue of around six to eight vehicles at one stage.

Fortunately, it wasn't busy enough to spill out onto the main road.

Watford Observer: Dustbin lorries waiting on the slip road that leads into Waterdale from the A405Dustbin lorries waiting on the slip road that leads into Waterdale from the A405

The county council says buying Brookdell Goods Yard, which has a separate entrance a little further up, could divert up to four in 10 vehicles from the current Waterdale entrance.

It would also allow the council to build a new shredding facility.

At a meeting of the council's Cabinet on Monday, councillors backed the £4.55 million purchase of the yard, which is privately owned and currently leased to Mullany's Coaches.

According to the council officers’ report, the yard provides a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to expand and reconfigure the waste transfer station site.

Watford Observer: Entrance to Brookdell Goods YardEntrance to Brookdell Goods Yard

Speaking in favour of the purchase at the cabinet meeting, executive member for the environment Cllr Eric Buckmaster said: "As members know planning permission for our own energy recovery facility was ruled out.

"So, it is important we have appropriate and strategically placed transfer sites in order to make use of facilities elsewhere and avoid landfill – and not forgetting, of course, the significant housing growth that we will be facing.

"So the improvement at Waterdale is part of the process of meeting these challenges amongst other initiatives that we have."

Watford Observer: A sign for Waterdale waste facilities on the A405A sign for Waterdale waste facilities on the A405

The yard purchase is set to be funded through borrowing with the construction of a bulky waste shredding facility set to cost a further £1.3 million.

The purchase of Brookdell Yard will be determined by a meeting of the full county council on July 20.