A HAIRDRESSER has slammed “mafia-style” council officers who stopped him recycling the trimmings from his clients.

Jeff Stone said that for the past 40 years he had taken home the hair from his salon in Fleming Square, Blackburn, to use on his compost heap.

But now he has been told he is breaking the law — and the hair must go to landfill because it is classed as “trade waste”.

Mr Stone said he had also been told he could not take home newspapers he buys for customers, because they are purchased with cash from the till.

Along with other shop-keepers, he has been forced to pay £100 for trade waste sacks to be collected from his shop to comply with recycling guidelines.

But documentation sent to him by Blackburn with Darwen council confirmed the bags would be emptied at landfill sites at Whinney Hill, near Accrington, and Withnell near Chorley.

Mr Stone said he was “furious” at the council’s actions and he has been backed up by a number of councillors.

He said: “Every authority on environmental matters recognises that human hair is fantastic compostable material. It’s very biodegradable.

“But a man from the council came in and threatened me with legal action. I was astounded.”

A Blackburn with Darwen council spokesman said Mr Stone had been acting illegally because businesses had a legal duty to ensure their waste was not harming environment.

He added: “They cannot simply take it home, no matter what it is.”