Councillor slams fortnightly bin schedule as rubbish piles up after cutbacks

PUBLISHED: 18:32 17 December 2014

Cllr Robin Parker next to a bin

Cllr Robin Parker next to a bin

Archant

Overflowing litter and dog poo bins have been branded ‘unacceptable’ by a Stevenage councillor who is calling for an urgent review.

Councillor Robin Parker says he’s received multiple complaints about the state of bins around the town.

He believes the problems stem from cuts in refuse collections from weekly to fortnightly to save money.

The leader of the Stevenage Liberal Democrats said: “It is now clear that this was a cut too far.”

But the Labour-controlled Stevenage Borough Council says it is already monitoring the situation and weekly collections have been reinstated where they are needed.

Councillor Parker said some of the worst examples he had seen, or had reported to him, were in Chells Lane, Knights Templar Green, Fairlands Way and Narrowbox Lane.

He added: “We need to let the public know that there is a problem and what the council is going to do about it, then review the processes.

“A member of the public pointed out to me that recently he observed a council operative emptying the bins by picking out individual pieces of litter, because the plastic sacks are not strong enough to allow him to lift the sack out in one go.

“If this is how Stevenage Borough Council operates, then we need to get stronger bags and or review this practice because the council could probably save money by doing the process in a more sensible way.”

A Stevenage Borough Council spokesman said: “Last month, in some parts of the town, we changed our litter and dog bin collections from a weekly to a fortnightly service. This is just one of the money-saving measures that we have had to put in place as a result of the cuts to our funding from the government.

“While a collection every two weeks is enough in most places, we have had reports of overflowing bins and, in response, our teams are now carrying out weekly collections in those places.

“Over the next few weeks we will monitor reports of overflowing litter and dog bins, and use this information to identify high-use areas, which will help us to plan our future collection services.”

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