A Swansea council recycling centre that invested in a £60,000 sorting station has not been able to use the device in seven months because it failed to release that planning permission would be needed for the two-story machine.
The two-storey picking station was installed at Clyne Household Waste Recycling Centre in May 2013, after which the planning department informed the council that it would need permission because the machine exceeds the 4m (13ft) limit for moveable structures.
Swansea council said it would not be used until permission was granted and there was no intention of trying to slip it under the radar.
The sorting station will filter recyclable waste from black bags.
“Planning permission is required for the sorting station to remain on site. We have given assurances to locals that the facility will not become operational until planning permission has been agreed”
A council spokesperson said: “A sorting station has been developed on site, which will enable the council to collect recyclable materials from black waste brought to Clyne by residents. The facility requires planning permission before it is operational.
“A planning application has recently been submitted which is due to be considered.”
It is understood council officials did consider planning permission, but it was not expected to be needed because it was a moveable structure.
“Planning permission is required for the sorting station to remain on site. We have given assurances to locals that the facility will not become operational until planning permission has been agreed,” a spokesperson said.
If permission is not granted, the picking station will be removed from the site and relocated.