Household waste is being dumped in and around public bins is a growing problem in Wrexham, and the ‘lazy’ public that do it are increasing costs to the council and causing ‘problem bins’ being removed.
Yesterday’s meeting of the homes and environment scrutiny committee was due to be looking at a very precise piece of protocol over highway street furniture and related temporary obstructions, but the debate veered to the ever popular topic of public bins.
However the discussion turned to public bins (such as in parks and on the roadside) being used to dump household waste, after Cllr John Phillips enquired about who pays for new bins, which can be ‘highway street furniture’, if it was Wrexham Council or community councils and if it was a replacement bin was that the same.
Head of Service for the Environment Department Darren Williams told the meeting: “Our funds are such we do not have funds to install or replace litter bins. If the Community Councils put them in we will look after them after that date.”
Being ‘brutally honest’ he went on to explain the bigger issue for the department was in the servicing of such litter bins, with the management and frequency of checks an obvious issue. The goal appears to be to remove bins rather than replace them if damaged beyond repair, something that also takes place for ‘problem bins’.
Mr Williams told the meeting how normal public bins are often used for ‘general household waste’ – an issue that is quite prevalent in the town centre.
Hightown’s Cllr Graham Rogers said: “What annoys me is the amount of household litter that is going in the bins, and also now by the side of the bins, along with the length of time to get it removed.
“I know that is due to less manpower, but it is immoral and criminal what is going on.”
Lead Member for Environment, Cllr David A Bithell agreed with Cllr Rogers, branding members of the public who dump household rubbish as ‘lazy’.
“We have seen quite a gradual increase of this over the last few years,” said Cllr Bithell.
“To say they have not been emptied or overflowing is not fair, it is not because the council are not doing our job.
“Lots and lots of people are dumping their waste, they are being lazy dumping stuff and expecting the council to pick it up.
“I went past a bin the other day and there was a mattress and a fence panel by it. A fence panel! Someone could not be bothered to take it to a skip site. We have three top of the range skip sites that take everything, you name it, they take it.
“People simply can’t be bothered. It is laziness.”
He added: “There is a massive increase in dumping stuff to the side of public bins, and the council have to pick up the cost.
“I don’t disagree with what Cllr Rogers said, I do think the criticism we receive at times is unfair, and we do hold our hands up when we get things wrong.
“The public need to take responsibility for their own litter.
“People should be aware if we can prove they have dumped household waste, we will have no hesitation to prosecute them for fly tipping.”
Cllr Rogers was then keen to point out he was not looking to criticism the council’s work, but “the people ruddy well doing it.”
The indication in the meeting was such public caused dumping of household waste could result in a bin being seen as problematic, and therefore a candidate for removal.
Wrexham.com has noticed yellow stickers on some town centre bins making it clear they are not for household waste, with the meeting told that town bins are often harder to get rid of than perhaps more rural ones, and those ‘the community get attached to’.
Top pic: Bin by Dean Road tweeted to us last month, that looks like it has a type of cat litter tray dumped near it. We are told it was like that for about a week.