A householder in North Cheam was refused entry to his neighbourhood recycling centre because he was transporting his garden waste in a wheelbarrow.

Paul Burton wanted to do his bit for the environment by making a zero-carbon trip from his home in Hamilton Avenue to the Kimpton Park Way dump.

But he was prevented from unloading his cuttings for "breaching health and safety regulations" as he queued alongside gas-guzzling cars.

Sutton Council has repeatedly advised residents to visit re-use centres if they are unwilling to pay the new £35 garden waste collection charge.

Mr Burton, who was carrying his council tax bill as identification, was shocked at his exclusion when the local authority is striving to increase the amount of domestic waste recycled to 45 per cent.

He said: "I needed to dispose of the rubbish, which would have been too heavy and unsuitable for normal collection bins.

"As a non-car user, I decided to cart it along in my garden wheelbarrow, but was met by a surly jobsworth, who said it was against procedures.

"Living in supposedly one of the most environmentally-friendly boroughs in London, I find this set-up is a total farce. Not only do residents of Hamilton Avenue have to put up with problems caused by the dump, but we are not allowed to use it."

This week Sutton Council said it was working with the Environment Agency to review regulations governing pedestrian use of the site.

A spokesman said people were stopped from walking into Kimpton Park Way recycling centre because of heavy machinery.

She added: "Movement is strictly controlled within the site for the safety of residents and staff. Residents can only unload their waste in designated isolated areas, while heavy vehicles operate in a separate part of the site."