Communal bin problems
PROBLEMS with communal bin collection areas are mounting for Rhondda Cynon Taff council. Some believe a ‘stick approach’ is now needed to address the issue.
COUNCIL officials in Rhondda Cynon Taff have highlighted the growing problem with communal bin collection areas.
A presentation given to members of the council’s public service delivery, communities and prosperity scrutiny committee revealed that it is one of the biggest problems facing the council when it comes to waste collection.
Communal bin collection points are pieces of land not managed by the council but where there is an agreement in place to pick up waste from several properties.
They are often present at the end of lanes, on shared private driveways and at social housing.
Nigel Wheeler, director of highways and streetcare at the council, said bins were “one of the most emotive” issues.
Councillors heard that there has been more of a problem since the council introduced its one wheelie bin or two black bags limit and that the costs of dealing with it are mounting up.
One area in Rhydyfelin costs in excess of £500 to clear up.
The main issues with communal bin collection points that officers cited included: lack of ownership; difficulty in identifying those responsbile for contaminated recycling; they become magnets for fly-tipping; health and safety issues; pests; and enforcement becomes almost impossible.
Another key concern is the loss of recyclable material which is not good for council recycling targets.
Councillors were shown examples of the problems at communal bin collection points which included sites in Rhydyfelin, Trallwn, Edmonstown, Tonypandy, Aberaman and Hendreforgan.
Officers want to set up a working party to try and tackle the issue and said they need elected members to get involved because of their local knowledge and the fact that they may have to take some unpopular decisions.
The council is looking into creating service level agreements (SLAs) with big landlords because they haven’t shown any responsibility for the problem which officers say is everybody’s problem and that they have to work together on it.
Committee chairman Councillor Steven Bradwick, Labour member for Aberdare East, said a working group would be really good and that the council could be one of the first in Wales to properly tackle this issue.
Councillor Gareth Hughes, Labour member for Tonypandy, said: “Social landlords need to step up. They are not looking after their residents.”
Mr Wheeler said the council was considering fines for landlords.
He said: “If they won’t work with us the only way we are going to hurt them is to hit them in the pocket.”
Councillor Danny Grehan, Plaid Cymru member for Tonyrefail East, said of those causing the problems that the council needs to try and inform them about how to dispose of their waste properly.
He said: “We need to find out who these people are. It is going to need a lot of resources.”
He suggested the use of CCTV or surveillance to help with this but added that housing associations have a responsibility to work with the council.
Talking about the carrot and stick approach, Mr Wheeler said: “The carrot has gone.
“We got to a point where we can’t do any more awareness.
“The stick is the thing we need.”
Council officials have highlighted the problem with communal bin collection areas across the borough