Council rubbish rules turn cottages into eyesore

Cottages with bin eyesoreCascade News

Villagers in Wales are protesting, after new council rules on rubbish and recycling have turned their picturesque and historic almshouses into little more than a dump. The council delivered five bins to each home to meet tough new recycling targets - and villagers claim it makes their homes ugly and unusable.

And this isn't the only refuse calamity hitting the UK.
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Unsightly

The village of Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd is looked after by Denbighshire Council, which is launching a new recycling regime for 11,000 householders. They each received three bins for outside their property, and two smaller ones - including a caddy for rotting food that they can keep indoors.

The design of these historic properties means that residents have no choice but to ruin the beauty of their homes by leaving the bins in front of their properties. It's not just an eyesore, residents told the Daily Mail that it was making access difficult too - especially for elderly and disabled residents.

The rubbish was previously collected in bags, but now it will be sorted into general waste, recycling and garden waste, and collected once a fortnight.

Critics argue that it helps the council to hit its targets and reduce collections (thereby cutting costs) but it does nothing for the residents.

Headache

Refuse collection is something of a political headache at the moment. A government initiative, supported by Eric Pickles, was intended to bring back weekly collections. Earlier this year he announced: "Over six million families will breathe a sigh of relief tonight because we have put a stop to the fetid fortnightly rot and saved many weekly collections from extinction. Weekly bin collections are one of the most visible frontline services and there is no plausible reason why councils shouldn't deliver them to hard-working residents."

"We will be looking closely at the central Government funding for bin collections. Councils receive £28billion in formula grant funding – it's not unreasonable that they provide a decent bin service in return."

However, only 85 councils have signed up for funding, and not all of those who have taken the cash are using it to restore weekly collections - some are using it to pay for their fortnightly collections - or additional recycling facilities.

Pickles was in fighting mood yesterday. He claimed a marginal victory - by saying that without his actions all weekly services would have been scrapped by 2015. However, he added: "If councils don't get their houses in order and deliver this basic public service then they will be held to account at the ballot box - they have no excuse and no one else to blame."

"We will be looking closely at the central government funding for bin collections. Councils receive £28 billion in formula grant funding - it's not unreasonable that they provide a decent bin service in return."

Of course, there are those that highlight that changes to the way rubbish is sorted and collected have made a vast difference to the amount of recycling that goes on. Over 40% of household waste was recycled in England in 2010/11, compared to 11% in 2000/01. They argue that sensible recycling and hygiene should ensure a fortnightly collection is plenty - saving money and saving the planet.

But what do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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Council rubbish rules turn cottages into eyesore

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