ES­TATE IS ‘THE DUMP­ING GROUND’

RES­I­DENTS SLAM THE STATE OF THEIR COM­MU­NITY:

Glamorgan Gazette - - Front Page - BRONTE HOWARD news­[email protected]­line.co.uk

A HOUS­ING es­tate in Brid­gend has be­come a “dump­ing ground” over Christ­mas with piles of rub­bish bags left strewn in the streets, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple who live there.

Dozens of rub­bish bags with rot­ting food, old food con­tain­ers and card­board have been left on the streets of Wild­mill es­tate in Brid­gend over the fes­tive pe­riod.

One res­i­dent who lives on Maes-y-Felin said she felt like she was “liv­ing on a land­fill site” be­cause so much waste has been dumped out­side her home.

The woman, who lives with her part­ner and daugh­ter, said: “I keep my cur­tains closed be­cause it’s all I see. It’s like we’re liv­ing on a land­fill site.

“It’s hor­ri­ble to look at and it starts to smell.”

But the mum, who wishes to re­main anony­mous, said that while the amount rub­bish be­ing dumped had in­creased over Christ­mas, it was an on­go­ing prob­lem for res­i­dents.

“It’s been this way for about 18 months since Kier in­tro­duced the new two-bag scheme,” she con­tin­ued.

“We’re al­lowed to put out two bags of rub­bish ev­ery two weeks and there are com­mu­nal re­cy­cling bins, but it’s not enough. Any­thing more than two bags of rub­bish or re­cy­cling that won’t fit in the bins isn’t taken away.”

But not only has res­i­dents’ rub­bish piled up, the res­i­dent claims the es­tate has be­come a hotspot for fly-tip­ping.

“Peo­ple are com­ing here to fly-tip,” she said “I’ve seen peo­ple pull up in vans and cars, empty their rub­bish and drive off again. It’s con­tin­u­ous.

“We’re sick of it. There’s al­ways bags of rub­bish ev­ery­where and re­cy­cling left next to the bins be­cause they’re full.

“Res­i­dents try their best to pick it up and bag it up to make it look tidy, but it’s just on go­ing.”

Waste com­pany Kier said it was work­ing with the Brid­gend County Bor­ough Coun­cil and hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion Coast 2 Val­ley to en­cour­age re­cy­cling and re­duce fly-tip­ping on the es­tate.

But Brid­gend town coun­cil­lor Steve Blet­soe, who grew up on Wild­mill es­tate, said some res­i­dents feel like “they’re liv­ing like sec­ond-class cit­i­zens”.

Mr Blet­soe, a Morfa town coun­cil­lor, said: “The big­gest is­sue is that there aren’t enough bins for re­cy­cling and res­i­dents are only al­lowed to put out two bags of rub­bish ev­ery two weeks.

“There are about 1,000 houses on the es­tate and I know it sounds like a lot, but they prob­a­bly need about four times as many bins.

“It’s col­lected weekly, but as soon as it’s taken away the bins are full again.

“There aren’t any con­se­quences for those who fly­tip and leave rub­bish on the streets. If Kier wants to tackle the prob­lem they need to en­force their poli­cies and tar­get those who are fly-tip­ping.

“Res­i­dents I’ve spo­ken to have said they see peo­ple com­ing and fly-tip­ping in the es­tate and I’ve seen it my­self. It’s just turned into a dump­ing ground. It wasn’t like this when I was grow­ing up and it’s hard to see it hap­pen. I’m a part of that com­mu­nity and I care about the peo­ple.

“It’s de­mor­al­is­ing for the peo­ple who live there. I’ve spo­ken to res­i­dents who say they feel like they’re liv­ing like sec­ond-class cit­i­zens.”

On New Year’s Eve, a large pile of rub­bish off Maes-y-Felin was even set alight. South Wales Fire and Res­cue were called to the es­tate and fire­fight­ers put out the flames be­fore the burnt rub­bish was moved by Val­ley 2 Coast hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion on Jan­uary 3.

A Kier spokes­woman said: “We have been work­ing with Brid­gend County Bor­ough Coun­cil and Val­leys 2 Coast hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion on sev­eral im­prove­ments to fur­ther en­cour­age re­cy­cling rates in Wild­mill, with mea­sures in­clud­ing in­creas­ing the num­ber of col­lec­tion points and ex­pand­ing bin ca­pac­i­ties. This has al­ready re­sulted in re­cy­cling rates in­creas­ing by 10%.

“We are pleased that lo­cal res­i­dents have sup­ported this new ini­tia­tive with the ma­jor­ity us­ing the col­lec­tion points.

“Un­for­tu­nately, a small mi­nor­ity of peo­ple are flytip­ping in the area which the coun­cil is work­ing hard to rec­tify. We will do all that we can to as­sist the coun­cil and con­tinue to en­gage with res­i­dents to high­light these new mea­sures.”

A Brid­gend County Bor­ough Coun­cil spokesman added: “The ma­jor­ity of Wild­mill res­i­dents want to re­cy­cle and are do­ing the right thing for their com­mu­nity.

“How­ever, a small mi­nor­ity are spoil­ing it for oth­ers, while some peo­ple from out­side of the neigh­bour­hood are driv­ing into Wild­mill and dump­ing their rub­bish there.

“We are aware of these is­sues and are work­ing hard to im­prove the situa- tion. In col­lab­o­ra­tion with our re­cy­cling part­ners Kier and the Val­leys 2 Coast hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion, we re­cently in­stalled ex­tra bins across the es­tate and moved some of the com­mu­nal col­lec­tion points to make them more ac­ces­si­ble for res­i­dents, but less con­ve­nient for fly tip­pers.

“We also knocked on hun­dreds of doors to meet res­i­dents and talk to them about re­cy­cling.

“With weekly re­cy­cling col­lec­tions, fort­nightly refuse col­lec­tions, and the pos­si­bil­ity to book bulky waste col­lec­tions, or take items to the lo­cal house­hold re­cy­cling cen­tres, there is no ex­cuse for any­one to fly tip their waste.

“Clear­ing fly-tip­ping comes at a cost to the pub­lic purse. We are de­ter­mined to re­duce it and en­cour­age ev­ery­one to be more re­spon­si­ble with their waste, and we’ll con­tinue to work very closely with Kier and V2C to make any nec­es­sary im­prove­ments.”

PETER BOLTER

Res­i­dents of Wild­mill, Brid­gend, say rub­bish bags with rot­ting food, old food con­tain­ers and card­board had been left on the streets

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