Updated: Complaints About Overflowing Bins

Businesses on St Mary’s are unhappy about the Council’s bin emptying schedule after gulls pulled rubbish from overfilled bins and spread the litter across The Strand and Hugh Street yesterday.

Katie Steggles from The Dairy told Radio Scilly she didn’t blame the bin men but felt it was an administrative issue. Katie says that she raised the same issue last year.

Rebecca Douglas went further, claiming the whole town looked a mess.

But in a statement, Chief technical Officer Neville Gardner, said that no complaints about overflowing litter bins have been raised with the Town Hall. He said the bins were being emptied first thing yesterday morning.

Neville says emptying the bins at the weekend is an additional cost and there would need to be demand.

The weekend collections will start later this month and will continue past the August Bank Holiday.

Neville says visitors sometimes cram holiday home waste into the litter bins and that prevents normal use. Overfilling the bins in that way provides an easy invitation to gulls who have learned that they can be a source of food.

In addition to the public waste bin emptying, Neville says the Council has been running their weekend waste collection since Easter. If commercial property owners sign up for a weekend collection their waste is removed on a Saturday.

Update Tuesday 10th July, 14:17:

Following Radio Scilly airing this story this morning, and Neville Gardner’s statement that there were no complaints about overflowing litter bins made to the Town Hall, we’ve had an email from Katie Steggles stating that she did email to complain to the Town Hall yesterday.

Terry Ward has also contacted us to say he called the Town Hall twice on Monday and the receptionist told Terry that she had received other calls on the matter.


9 Responses to Updated: Complaints About Overflowing Bins

  1. Todd Stevens July 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    I agree with Steven G- why dont the officers just state that the problem will be dealt with ASAP instead of loads of entering into all the -he said -she said. Its very unproffessional.

  2. Bill Hiner July 11, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Why does it take complaints to get action? Surely Council officils have eyes and can see that bins are full! The bins at the playpark end of Porthcressa are regularly spilling over, are we to believe that no one with responsibility sees this?
    Gull-proof bins are a must!
    We must get the basics right here (litter waste and dog mess management, grass cutting etc etc)
    I wholeheartedly agree with a comment from above by Frank that we are a holiday destination and we need to make sure that it is a pleasure for people to visit us, not a trial by eyesight.
    One last comment-why oh why is the recycling area at the rear of the Town Hall such a mess? Is it beyond our capabilities to screen it off and keep it clean-it truly is a depressing blot.

  3. George Pearson, Community Relations Officer July 11, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Apologies to those that complained, and for the issue in the above statement from Neville.

    For clarification. The phone complaint was received and passed straight onto the Council’s Direct Labour Force. Unfortunately, whilst it was passed on, due to an clerical error on our part it was not passed to Technical Services admin to be logged – this made it appear when Neville Gardner and myself assessed the situation yesterday that there were no complaints. Unfortunately we were not in full possession of the facts. From what I understand, there were no further phone or email complaints received that day.

    Katie Steggles email I am struggling to currently locate. If Katie does happen to read this, I would be most grateful if she could email me at gpearson@scilly.gov.uk and inform me of the email address she contacted so I can find out what has occurred on this occasion.

    I apologise for any ill feeling caused by this. Please rest assured, as the officer that deals with complaints, we take all complaints, whether formalised ones, or smaller points such as those above, very seriously.

  4. Katie F July 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Was it from Neville himself?

    • Steven G July 11, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Does it really matter? Surely there should be no need to complain to get the bins emptied before they are overflowing over the pavement.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if, rather than excuses, somebody acknowledged the problem and promised to do something about it.

  5. Katie F July 10, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Dear Keri,
    Thank you for the clarification.

  6. Keri Jones July 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Dear Katie. The Council emailed statement was timestamped as Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 4:28 PM.

  7. Katie F July 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    When did you contact Neville for the statement though? That has a bearing.

  8. Frank July 10, 2012 at 8:58 am

    This is always the case, the Council will point to there being ‘no complaints’, though by that they mean ‘official written complaints’ as opposed to people verbally telling them.

    Neville, look at the photo, absorb the image, realise this is a news story, then please do something productive to remedy it. That’s all we ask. Get some slightly bigger bins? It costs money… oh, like we can’t find it…. well, you know, we somehow found the money for the Chief Officer pay rises, so I’m preeeeeety sure you can find a couple of thousand pounds to provide bigger, better bins in some key areas.

    Visitors cramming the bins with holiday home rubbish is nothing new, this happens every year, it’s about time we reacted to it and did something positive rather than just tutting loudly. We’re a holiday destination, how about we start acting like one.