09:00AM, Friday 16 October 2020
Bin collections are still being missed in parts of the borough – with some houses in Shurlock Row waiting 10 weeks for a collection.
Some houses off The Straight Mile, which are covered by Royal Borough services, were repeatedly overlooked, despite multiple attempts to alert the council. It meant residents had to make repeated trips to the dump to be rid of maggot-filled waste.
Householders were left at their ‘wits’ end’ until Tuesday, when a waste collection finally came.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” said resident Steve Curnow, speaking before the bins were finally collected. “We are writing to the council almost daily.”
Residents were forced to continually take their rubbish to Braywick Recycling and Refuse Centre – nine miles out of their way.
“We shouldn’t have to drive as far away as that,” said Mr Curnow. “We pay our council tax for refuse collection.”
Mr Curnow and his neighbours were using the council’s missed bins online reporting tool every day and have rung the council multiple times.
Each time, they were told a waste collection would be coming on the following day. Each time, the waste collectors never came.
The council’s only response until this week was an apology explaining the continuing problems with waste collection contractors Serco.
It got to the point where the residents were considering ceasing payments of council tax.
“If we do that, we run the risk of prosecution, we run the risk of a bad credit rating,” said Mr Curnow.
“No one wants to get into breaking the law, but the council is not meeting its obligations. We can all understand one week of missed bins, but 10 weeks is a joke.”
The recycling collections, meanwhile, continued without incident, leading to more questions as to why the general waste collections are being repeatedly missed.
“I even told the recycling collector about it – and he just shrugged as if to say ‘not another one,’” said Mr Curnow.
Ward councillor Maureen Hunt (Con, Hurley and Walthams) was alerted to the problem by the Advertiser on Monday.
She said she was appalled to hear about it and expressed regret that she had not heard about the situation sooner.
She contacted Serco and gave them directions to the residences. The next day ‘a white van’ appeared and took the remaining waste away.
Mr Curnow hopes this signals a return to the scheduled Friday collections.
Other residents across the borough have also been suffering missed bin collections for weeks in a row, with rubbish still overflowing in some cases.
Serco completed 77 per cent of its scheduled waste collection routes on Tuesday, compared to 90 per cent last week.
Councillor David Coppinger, lead member for environmental services, said that if anyone’s bins have been missed for two weeks in a row, they should contact him on his email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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