'Lost' bins are left unemptied

PUBLISHED: 11:21 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:01 06 May 2010

RUBBISH bins serving a block of flats were not emptied for a month leaving them overflowing because new refuse contractors could not find them. The bins serving the homes in Cotlandswick, London Colney, had been emptied on February 1. But new drivers coul

RUBBISH bins serving a block of flats were not emptied for a month leaving them overflowing because new refuse contractors could not find them.

The bins serving the homes in Cotlandswick, London Colney, had been emptied on February 1.

But new drivers could not find the communal area of the flats where the bins were kept and missed emptying the bins for four weeks until a supervisor came with them to show them where to go.

Resident Mrs Bet Badham, aged 70, rang St Alband District Council five times to find out why the bins had not been emptied and each time she was promised it would be done the next day but nothing happened.

In desperation she called London Colney councillor Chris Flynn on February 19 after her bin had not been emptied for three weeks

Cllr Flynn went round there and found the bins overflowing and with an atrocious smell.

He said three of the people in his ward told him they had rung the council a total of 11 times about the problem.

He called the council immediately and expected the problem to be resolved that day but the bins were not emptied until a week later.

Mrs Badham said: "The bins are supposed to be collected every Friday, but it took four weeks before anyone came to clear the rubbish. The smell was awful, there was waste everywhere and it took them two hours to clean it all up."

She said she went out to speak to the workers emptying the bins and was amazed to hear that the new lorry drivers did not know where to go to pick up the rubbish.

A spokesperson for St Albans District Council confirmed that the problem was down to the drivers not knowing where the bins were but he could not explain why it took the council so long to take action.

Meanwhile there was also confusion about cardboard collection in the new recycling schedules.

In north Harpenden when the collection of recyclables - newspapers, bottles and plastic - changed to a different week, the collection of cardboard remained the same but householders were not told and presumed that it was also part of the new timetable.

The council's client services department admitted that it was a bit confusing.

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