Mystery St Albans rubbish bins were gift from college

RUBBISH bins installed on a public footpath left council officers scratching their heads last week as they tried to work out just who was behind them.

Attention was brought to the red bins on the footpath just off Hatfield Road near Ryecroft Court when residents saw they were over-flowing with rubbish because they were not being emptied.

Colney Heath parish council stepped in to clear away the rubbish on a few occasions but Cllr Chris Brazier approached both the district council and the county council to find out who was responsible with both saying the bins weren’t theirs and they didn’t know who had installed them.

Events took a different turn when Oaklands College revealed to the Herts Advertiser that they had installed the bins as a courtesy to residents because of the number of students using the footpath to access their Alban Park campus.

A spokesperson said they had installed other bins in the area and that it had been the intention of the college to empty those on the footpath, until dog and human waste started to appear in them.

She said: “We are looking into the situation with the council as some of the waste is unsuitable for our staff to handle and not what you would expect to see in a normal bin.”

The county council said they had resurfaced the footpath after noting increased usage by Oaklands’ students and that the bins appeared shortly after. They had not emptied them because they was not “official” bins.

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The council’s contractors will now be asked to remove the bins and liaise with the district council to replace them with an official general waste bin which would be regularly emptied.

The waste would then be monitored and if it was predominantly bagged dog waste, the bin would be replaced with a dog waste bin.

Cllr Brazier branded county council’s plans a “waste of money”. He said: “What a waste of time and money. This is an example of people not talking to one another about what’s going on.

“The bins in place are currently unhygienic because dog waste is being thrown in them. They aren’t being emptied and Oaklands have admitted they should be, so the college could be invoiced by the parish council for the time spent collecting rubbish the college was responsible for.”