Dangerous rubbish spilling from bin is a risk to St Albans primary school pupils
A bin overflowing with hypodermic needles, soiled nappies and broken glass is causing concern for parents whose children attend a nearby primary school.
Parents of children from Windermere Primary School suspect neighbours are using the public bin, located on the footpath which splits Windermere Avenue, for dangerous rubbish rather than using their private wheelie bins.
Rebeka Day, who has two children at Windermere Primary, said that the rubbish strewn on the path was “endangering her children”.
The 27 year old mum of three said: “It’s full of beer cans. It’s full of tins of food, food waste, broken plant pots.
She said: “Most days it’s overflowing. It’s attracting flies and it won’t be long before it starts attracting rats.
“My children use that bin every single day and every single day it’s full up.
“Removing the bin might just create a litter problem, so I don’t know what’s the best thing to do.”
The footpath is frequently used by children from Camp School and Cunningham Junior School as well as Windermere Primary.
A resident of Buttermere Close confirmed that he was using the public bin for his household waste.
The 65-year-old, who declined to be named, said: “I put one bag there a day, about five bags over the course of the week.
“Why is it there? It’s not there just for people to look at; it’s there for a purpose. The council put bins in place for a purpose. They don’t put them there for people to gaze at and take photos, do they?”
When asked what quantity of rubbish he deposited into the bin each day, the man said: “Five or six empty cans of beer and cider each morning.”
The man denied using the bin for hypodermic needles, but said: “I do know who uses needles. There’s a drug culture around here.”
Paul Brady, contract manager at John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance which services hundreds of bins in the area, confirmed that used needles had been found in the bin, adding: “It had plant pots in it today. Every day it’s overflowing; we get a call every day. It’s been going on for quite a while – months, I would say.
“I was told by one resident that they found a diaper with faeces on it.”
Windermere Primary School raised the issue in a recent newsletter, asking parents to be “vigilant” when using the bin.
But headteacher, Davina Raftery, told the Herts Ad: “I am a head teacher; it is not in my jurisdiction at the school to sort our parking, to clean up dog mess outside of the school gates or to tidy up an overflowing bin.”
She added: “Once [children] are outside of the school, they are their parents’ responsibility.
“I appreciate parents’ concern, but to my mind it is a council issue and not a school issue.”
Mike Lovelady, head of legal services at St Albans Council said: “Our contractors regularly clear waste from this waste bin and the area surrounding it.
“Due to reports of the type of rubbish that is being disposed of in this location, we are investigating whether it is being fly-tipped.”
Cllr Lovelady has urged anyone who has witnessed fly-tipping to contact police.