Friday, February 25, 2005

Weekly rubbish collections to stop

Under the banner of 'improving recycling' (goodo) Purbeck District Council has decided to scrap weekly rubbish collections, and instead go for making everyone in Purbeck have wheelie bins, with fortnightly waste collections.

The theory seems to be that this will focus people's minds on recycling more (to meet government targets- hurrah). But what about those people who have nowhere to keep a wheelie bin, and would have to leave it on the street or in front yards or gardens? What's that going to make our towns and villages look like? Does anyone care ? And what if you are at all frail? What if you would have to drag a wheelie bin through your house? What about holiday lets, who won't want to drag bins around? Just because this plan is 'A ' solution doesn' t mean it's the RIGHT solution, does it?

And a fortnight's accumulated kitchen waste! Oh, and it's going to cost everyone more - more than £3 on the average council tax.

So another decision slipped in without much of a chance for the public to have a say. Comments and questions to: Environmental Services (Customer Services Officer): pamelabrace@purbeck- Alternatively, a Recycle Helpline phone number is available on 01929 557279.

(More details on


Anonymous said...

Another daft idea! Where do the Council think that these large bins will be put, where old houses have no side or back entrance.

I was thinking of the older parts of Swanage. just imagine what it will look like outside on the pavement on the old houses on the high pavement. There is no way they can be dragged through the house. For me? they will have to stay out on the pavement. Swanage will look like crap! and smell like it!
No alternative.
Dancing Ledge

Anonymous said...

One thing is quite obvious, The wheelie bins stuck outside on the pavements day in day out, will certainly do great harm for those that depend on summer visitors, I cannot see where these bins can be put, but on the pavements?

I am trying to picture the sight of attractive old stone houses with narrow pavements, and row upon row of damn great green wheelie bins.

What is more, I can see those that are not that keen on having bins outside their houses, making sure that the mess from them gets spread around...(human nature being what it is) The effect will horrendous.

But it will certainly serve one purpose...The smell alone in the height of Summer will keep the visitors away! Tough! Tough!
Dancing Ledge.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought - but surely the Wheelie bins will be kept where people keep their dustbins now? These are'nt left out on the street so I can see no reason why wheelie bins should.
As for having to put them out on collection days we have to do this now ie put the black bags from the dustbins out which the rats and foxes destroy.
However, I do think it is totally ludicrous to have collections fortnightly rather than weekly.

Anonymous said...

Size! A wheelie bin to be collected every two weeks will have to be twice the size.

At least the frail and disabled can use several paper bags to carry to the pavement, certainly not a big bin. In hundreds of older homes, the bins, if to be taken off the pavements? will have to be wheeled through the living room, across the carpet. Cannot see it somehow?
Dancing Ledge

The Postman said...

Letter received from PDC @ 28 Feb

The Council voted to adopt a new method of collecting recyclable materials and residual waste from Purbeck households at its meeting on 22nd February.

It is necessary to make changes in order to meet Government imposed targets for recycling. Failure to do so could lead to high financial penalties for the Council. Our current recycling rate is 16% and our target is 30%.

The scheme that will be implemented is similar to many others already running successfully in England. It is impossible to meet the high target set for Purbeck without things changing, and the way that
has been chosen is a compromise between what could be done and what is affordable. To answer the points you raise in your email of 18/02/05,

1. I accept that wheelie bins can change the look of an area if left outside the frontages of houses. However, I would remark that for every person who does not want a wheelie bin, there is another who
has been asking why the Council does not provide them for many years.

2. Where there is literally nowhere to store a wheelie bin (a current survey of properties will establish where this is the case), we will continue to provide householders with black sacks.

3. Elderly residents and those with physical incapacities can apply for a 'back door collection'- a term which refers to a specific arrangement between the Council (through its contractor, SITA) and the individual, as to where their rubbish will be collected. This has always been the case and will continue.

4. It is the responsibility of the householder to put their refuse in the correct place. With holiday lets, those with a domestic collection (some larger properties are of course commercial contracts) will
have to comply and the responsibility will rest with the owner. The Council will be taking action against those that do not make suitable arrangements.

5. The bins being purchased will have close fitting lids, and provided the lid is kept closed and waste is well wrapped before it is placed inside smell nuisance should be minimal. Experience at other local authorities bears this out. 'Troubleshooter' staff will visit households experiencing difficulties to give advice.

6. The scheme being introduced is one of many variants around the country. I can only assure you that staff will do all they can to assist the local population, to ensure it is a success.

Further information will be provided to all householders during the coming months, but I hope this answers your immediate concerns.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Susan Eady
Acting Head of Environmental Services

Anonymous said...

Ok, I don't mind the wheelie bin being picked up once a fortnight but what anout the other part of the deal - the recycling. We have a small green box that is meant to be emptied once a fortnight. It's far too small already, how are we meant to recycle even more? Two wheelie bins? One for waste one for recycling? And what about the hit and miss nature of the collections? Last week we had four weeks worth of recycling material in our small box (plus plastic sacks) because the recyclers didn't arrive one week. And what about all that other material which, by rights should be recycled but which isn't at the moment - plastic bottles? This needs a regular trip to the recycling bank by car which negates any advantage for the environment.

I'm afraid cutting down waste collections isn't going to solve any of this.

Anonymous said...

Hurray for another first at shooting oneself in the foot.

The obvious drawbacks to wheelie bins of, size, lack of secure discrete parking (storage)and definately environmetally unfriendly aspect, have already been noted.

To these should be added the vulnerability of exposed wheelie bins to vandalism and gales There are plenty of hills down which they and their contents can be propelled with very satisfying results if full! Who will pay for any damage. The Council as owners of the bins?

Finally how do you identify your allocated bin from all the others and who is responsible for providing replacements.

Anonymous said...

There is another element to the bin saga. When local government was reorganised in the 1970s the newly formed PDC opted for a street collection rather than for the dustmen carrying the bins out from the rear of premises. This was done only to save money. Despite the excuses PDC come up with this is a substandard service. Each time PDC are evaluated for their services they loose brownie points for this. Now we have a further deterioration. Again despite the boasting from PDC and DCC their record on recycling is absysmal compared with the standard achieved in many countries. But then what can we expect from a district council with a mission statement that starts off by boasting of their reluctance to spend situated in a county which manages to be bottom of the educational spending league year after year.

Anonymous said...

I have e.mailed Susan Eady at Have we all done that?

Anonymous said...

Re the last.

I am presuming that Susan Eady is reading these comments as her letter has been posted here. If not then perhaps these comments should be drawn to her attention.

Anonymous said...

I got an almost instant reply from Susan Eady when I e.mailed her with my view that the provision of wheelie bins does nothing to encourage or assist actual recycling ( which is the whole aim of the exercise anyway).

"Dear Mr Cooper

Thank you for your enquiry regarding wheelie bins and recycling.

I am sure you have had an opportunity to read my reply to Mr Hadley
which he has posted on the Swanage View Website, so I will not
repeat what is there.

To answer one specific point about the limited size of the green box,
we will be reminding everyone that our contractor, SITA, will take the
recyclable materials from any type of container, so there is no limit to
how much you can put out. The only thing that will be restricted is the
amount of other household waste that can be put out.

Further information will be available shortly, and I hope you will find it
of use.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Susan Eady"

Keith Roker said...

Do I take it from Mrs Eady's latest posting that the dustmen will only take away whatever we have managed to cram into the wheelie bin? That is what she is saying. Thats fine for small households but not much good for large ones.

A high proportion of what we throw away is food wrapping a lot of which is boxes and bulky plastic items. Will cardboard and plastic bottles be accepted for recycling under the new arrangements? That would help.

Most of this refuse exists because it suits supermarkets to use it to increase the shelf life of goods rather than sell them fresh. Could Mrs Eady tell us what resources PDC is devoting to lobbying for a reduction in the amount of food wrapping they have to dispose of. I can't see much chance of progress until they accept the need to use their resources to attack the whole problem and reduce the supply of rubbish.

This is an issue which has to be seen in the context of the whole food industry and PDC, as an organisation which fosters green solutions should be encouraging public debate not just reacting to a small part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Here is a follow-up message and reply from Susan Eady:

Dear Mrs. Eady,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply. I won't keep bombarding you with
e.mails but I would just like to make one point.

The provision of wheelie bins doesn't actually do anything to decrease waste
by increasing recycling. Many of us would like to increase our recycling
effort. Is it not possible to replace the weekly rubbish collection with a
weekly recycling collection? In this way plastic and other recyclables
could be included. Other councils achieve this. If the contractors are not
willing to play ball, then its time to look for alternatives.

Peter Cooper

Dear Mr Cooper,

Thank you for your comments. I agree that there is more the Council
could do to boost recycling. I'm afraid it came down to what could be
done at reasonable expense, as all the changes have to come from
the Council Tax (with a very small grant from Government this year)
and if the Council had decided to spend more we would have risked
being capped. Many members are keen to take things further in
future years, when funds permit. I hope this helps.

Susan Eady

It would appear that this is not a recycling initative but just a money saving exercise. Pity

Anonymous said...

I agree with all the comments made here and wrote to Susan Eady before the meeting to tell her so. I received a "reply" - after the meeting - saying that the decision had been reached and she hoped that this answered my questions. So there! Once again we have residents and electors opinions ignored by those we elected and by officials who we pay to represent us. This is a blatant cost cutting excercise, for which we will get charged more, receive a worse and in some cases unworkable service and create eyesores into the bargain. Well done PDC - imaginative as ever.
Rowland Hughes

Keith Roker said...

Apparently this is good news for songbirds but bad news for cats.

Urban foxes can't get at the stuff in wheelie bins, unlike ordinary dustbins. This forces them to look for an alternative and the most available is domestic cats. Therefore the foxes eat the cats, the cats are not there to eat the songbirds. Songbirds happy, cat owners rather less so.

Anonymous said...

..and it still does nothing to help recycling....