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New waste collection service 'a load of rubbish'

Published date: 10 October 2012 |
Published by: Jim Green
Read more articles by Jim Green


Black bags building up in an alleyway leading to Brook Street 

WHAT a load of rubbish – that’s how angry residents are describing Chester’s new waste collection service.

Just three days after the new ‘recycling first’ collection service was introduced, residents are already reporting missed collections and rubbish being left on streets.

The Leader understands binmen have been working until 10pm with collections on some roads taking more than two hours to complete and many residents are dismissing the changes as confusing and unnecessary.

Matthew Thomson, 65, of Chevron Hey in Blacon, said: “It is a catastrophe. There are that many bins now people don’t know what is going on.

“We had five big wagons down our road and each wagon has its own crew. You have to ask how much this is all costing?

“One wagon came and emptied my bin but left all my neighbours. I asked them why and they said it was because the wagon was full up.

“The old system was fantastic and you could set your watch by them. It’s not the workers’ fault because they do what they are told. You have to feel sorry for them.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) awarded May Gurney the contract to deliver the new waste and recycling collection service.

The kerbside-sort system means residents can recycle materials ranging from glass, plastic and food cartons to small electrical items, mobile phones, textiles and cooking oils.

Separate weekly kitchen waste collections enable food scraps and leftovers to be recycled.

Teams have been working across the city over the past ten weeks to deliver new containers and remove and recycle old bins while the council has written to all residents to inform them of the changes.

CWaC estimates the new system could result in savings of more than £50 million over the next 14 years and see recycling rates could jump to more than 62 percent.

But teething troubles with the new service saw rubbish left on Western Avenue in Blacon and some collections missed altogether.

One Treborth Road resident, who did not want to be named, said: “The bins round here should have been taken on Monday but they didn’t get collected until Tuesday.

“I rang the council nine or 10 times and when you eventually get through they put you on hold. They told me the collection teams were working to 10pm.

“I think the new system is atrocious. It is very time consuming and it is not going to work. I’m a keen recycler but the new bins don’t give us enough capacity. I won’t have any choice but to thrown some stuff in the waste bin.

“The only empathy i have is for the people who are working on the wagons.

Somebody has come in and made this system up without any clue of how it will work.”

A council spokeswoman confirmed there had been some reported problems but said the overwhelming majority of collections were completed as planned.

She said: “Experience from previous schemes tells us that residents stockpile new materials ready for their new service to begin and this combined with collection teams familiarising themselves with the new rounds can lead to longer working days during the first few collections.

“May Gurney have a number of relief crews in place which take over and complete any outstanding rounds.

“The situation in Western Avenue was brought to May Gurney’s attention when it was reported via Twitter. They are now investigating the issue.

“On Monday 99.9 percent of scheduled collections were completed successfully and the small number of collections outstanding were prioritised and completed on Tuesday morning.”

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