A ROUTINE trip to dump some rubbish at the Bundaberg Regional Council tip turned into a nightmare for two men who found themselves trapped when staff failed to notice they were still there.
Michael Edmonds said it took two-and-a-half hours and a series of frantic phone calls before someone with the right keys arrived to free him and a friend.
Mr Edmonds said the pair had arrived at the dump about 5.30pm on Thursday, March 24.
After he had reversed his car into one of the bays and started unloading the items to be dumped, he saw a council ute go speeding past.
“Around 5.50pm we started to drive off ready to leave but we came to a locked gate,” he said.
Although the two called out to try to attract attention, no-one came to their aid.
Mr Edmonds said he used his mobile phone to access the internet to look for a council number he could call to be let out.
He eventually found a 1300 number but the operator was very unhelpful, he said.
“He advised me he did not know who to contact, the matter was not life threatening and a worker would come back in the morning to unlock the gates and release us,” Mr Edmonds said.
He said after a call to the Bundaberg Police a woman arrived who said she had the key to the gate, but she could not get the lock open.
After 15 minutes someone else arrived who managed to get the gate unlocked.
“At this point we had already been stuck for a little over two hours and 20 minutes,” Mr Edmonds said.
“This was an extremely stressful and frustrating experience.”
Mr Edmonds has already received a written apology from council CEO Peter Byrne.
Waste and recycling manager James Stanfield said when the tip staff did their final patrol that evening they did not see him.
“We have now reviewed our system to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
Mr Stanfield said Mr Edmonds had met council representatives and steps were taken immediately to have a cheque drawn to cover his phone expenses.
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