An eye on the bigger picture

PUBLISHED: 11:22 21 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:29 05 May 2010

Sir– I am afraid Louise McEvoy has been reading too many of the less reputable national papers ( Fed up with this rubbish , 14 August). She may think that North Herts District Council keeps churning out the standard response to complaints about alternat

Sir- I am afraid Louise McEvoy has been reading too many of the less reputable national papers ("Fed up with this rubbish", 14 August).

She may think that North Herts District Council keeps "churning out the standard response" to complaints about alternate weekly rubbish collections, including infestations by maggots, but this is because we act on scientific evidence and demands from residents to increase recycling.

Of course I am sorry that a small number of residents - we have had just six since April - have complained about maggot infestations. However, these are relatively easy to avoid and to deal with when they occur. We offer advice to the householders who have approached us on this subject. But please remember that dustbins always have been dirty and always have been subject to infestations, however frequently they are emptied.

We have to keep our eye on the big picture, which is that, thanks largely to the goodwill and enthusiasm of residents, our new recycling arrangements have been a great success, helping us to a rate of over 40 per cent last year and no doubt better still this year. This is reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill and allowing the rising cost of landfill tax to be contained, and just as importantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which is helping to protect our environment. Far from not listening to our taxpayers, that is what they have always told us they want.

Finally, Louise comments on the rise in complaints to the council including 537 recorded against waste management last year. This equates to just 2.3 per cent of all the Waste enquiries received, and only one of them complained of maggots. As we explained at the time, the majority of the calls were requests for further information, or from people who were missing one or other of their bins and boxes. These complaints and queries are now back to normal levels, which is another indication to us that the situation is not how Louise suggests.

John Robinson,

Strategic Director of Customer Services

North Hertfordshire District Council

Gernon Road

Letchworth Garden City

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