Overflowing bins in St Albans raise concerns over rubbish collections

Litter bin in Hedley Road in St Albans piled with rubbish

Litter bin in Hedley Road in St Albans piled with rubbish - Credit: Archant

Overflowing bins spotted across St Albans have raised concerns that rubbish collections are being neglected.

Residents of Rosewood Court in Grovelands, Park Street, which is made up of 35 flats, were frustrated after it took waste contractor Veolia more than a month to collect their recycling bins.

The flats have two communal bin areas which were ridden with flies and piles of rubbish.

Resident, Michael Thompson said that as a result, the waste area had smelled “like mad” and had been fly-infested so no-one had wanted to go in there. A rat had also been seen roaming around in the bin areas.

Mr Thompson maintained that since the council introduced changes to waste services many of the residents were unsure what bins their rubbish should go in which was adding to the problem.

New waste services were rolled out by the council over the summer which saw new 180 litre brown bins distributed across the district to be used for general waste. The old 240 litre black bin is now used for recyclable materials.

Rosewood Court was issued with smaller communal bins to be used for refuse waste which Mr Thompson believed had added to the confusion of residents.

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He continued: “We have asked the company to come and give a talk about the new bins so people actually know what’s going into what.”

A spokesperson for Veolia explained that the reason bins in Rosewood Court were not emptied was because they contained non-recyclable items.

She said: “A supervisor from Veolia has arranged for a special collection and the bins have now been emptied.

“After speaking to the managing agents for the site, he will follow this up with a visit to explain what the recycling bins can accept.”

She added: “We will be monitoring the emptying of the bins to ensure they are not missed again.

“We are sorry that this has happened.”

* Litter bins piled up with rubbish have also been seen across the district.

Cllr Anthony Rowlands, chair of St Albans council’s local services scrutiny committee, said that public bins were not emptied for at least 10 days and that issues with individual members of staff meant refuse crews had been taking over the role.

He said: “It is wholly unacceptable that a contractor with a large workforce is unable to fulfil their contractual obligation because one person is away.

“Travelling around the city it is evident that lots of bins have not been emptied.

“With such neglect it is unsurprising that litter remains a constant eyesore.”

Cllr Rowlands raised the issue at a scrutiny committee meeting on Tuesday (6) and said: “We were told that a number of Veolia’s drivers had not been in work which contributed to the poor level of service.

“This showed that the contractor had failed to manage the summer holiday period; this is very disappointing as they are paid to provide a reliable service at all times.”

Senior council officers are due to meet with Veolia later this week.