03:30PM, Thursday 06 January 2022
A private waste company has taken matters into its own hands and installed a free dog waste bin in Cookham.
Public dog waste bins are operated by the council or parish council – but the company, Cookham Waste, claims these are ‘always overflowing’.
It has installed a privately serviced bin on land belonging to Copas Farms at the Maidenhead Road/Station Hill/The Pound roundabout.
“This is the first of a few that we hope to install over the next year in an attempt to clean up the streets of Cookham,” said Barry Head, managing director of Cookham Waste.
The ‘sponsored bin’ is to be emptied twice a week, free of charge.
“It wasn’t cheap,” said Barry.
“Yes, part of our motivation is to get our name out there. But we’re also dog owners and there’s not enough dog waste bins.
“Cookham has a massive dog walking community and you see dog waste ‘decorations’ up in the trees everywhere.”
The company is also looking into potentially adding some general waste bins. Its options are limited as it can only install bins on private land with the landowner’s permission.
The council has said that borough-owned bins are emptied weekly – but bins on parish council land, such as parish parks, are the responsibility of the parish to empty.
Jane Perry is chairman of Cookham Parish Council’s general purposes committee, which handles bins among other issues.
She said the problem began when the parish council’s contractors for emptying dog waste bins, went bust in April.
The parish council looked into four or five potential replacements, including Cookham Waste.
It chose to go with Shorts Group Ltd instead.
Barry said the company would have planned to redistribute some bins, as he feels an unnecessarily high concentration is in Alfred Major Recreation Ground.
But Jane says the parish council has had ‘no complaints’ from residents about dog waste collections since Shorts took over.
She added there have been ‘no requests’ for a bin at the specific location where Cookham Waste have installed one.
The parish council has £1,000 in its budget this financial year (2022/23) to replace and relocate some dog waste bins.
It has also asked the Royal Borough for some new, larger general waste bins at Bell Rope Meadow and Odney Common.
Councillor David Coppinger, cabinet member for environmental services, said:
“Many areas of open land in Cookham are owned and looked after by other organisations, such as the Woodland Trust and National Trust, and we welcome any initiatives with private landowners to help people to dispose of their litter and dog mess responsibly.”