What a load of rubbish

PEOPLE living on a road in Hitchin are not having their rubbish collected regularly, because the turning into their road is too narrow to fit a refuse truck.

Those living in Johnson Place say that they have had problems for years. As well as having had no refuse collection for weeks, recyclables have not been collected since the summer and there are reports of vermin and flies.

“We have constantly got a build up of rubbish and recyclables,” said Dean White, who lives on the road. “There’s litter blowing everywhere and I’ve seen rats too.

“We’ve had problems for years, and it’s not nice when you have children, as I do, who are playing around in all this.”

Refuse collectors have been told they can no longer stop to pick up the rubbish, because the trucks block up the roads and cause traffic congestion.

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Mr White has become so fed up with the situation, that he has offered to carry rubbish down to the main road himself. He has been told that to do so would be a health and safety risk.

“Communication seems to be non-existent,” said Mr White. “We pay rent, council tax and estate management fees, so this should not be an issue.

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“It seems like we’re not getting anywhere, and none of us have received a letter of explanation or apology.”

The current location of the bins, situated on the Dacre Road entrance, was originally intended as a temporary solution until a permanent site could be found.

North Herts District Council, Aldwyck housing group, who are responsible for some of the Housing Association properties on the road, and plot managers Ringley are all involved in sorting out the ongoing dispute.

But at the time of going to press, there have been no plans put in place, either for a short or long term resolution.

“I can understand the frustration felt by residents of Johnson Place, who just want their bins to be emptied regularly along with all the other households in the district,” said Councillor Peter Burt, portfolio holder for Waste, Recycling and Environment.

“The problem here is one of access. We are physically unable to get our refuse collection vehicles in to Johnson Place, and we cannot block Dacre Road for the time it takes our refuse collectors to walk to and from there and the bin collection area.

“Due to the particular nature of this development, a number of organisations are involved in coming to an acceptable resolution to the problem. We are doing everything we can to coordinate the efforts of everyone involved to ensure that this situation is resolved swiftly.”

Aldwyck said that they were aware of the problem, and were keen to sort it out. “There are some long-standing issues over the collection of refuse at this site,” said a spokesman.

“Sadly our residents have been affected by this and we are working hard with all parties to bring about a permanent resolution. We hope this can be found soon.”

The plot manager from Ringley could not comment on the situation. No-one else was available for comment.

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