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Many residents far from happy as new bin collection scheme starts

By This is Devon  |  Posted: September 07, 2010

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NEW bin collections started across Torbay yesterday amid complaints about bins being left behind and rubbish left to rot.

Tor2 — the new joint venture company linking May Gurney and Torbay Council — will not reveal how much it is costing to implement the new scheme in 60,000 homes.

A Tor2 spokesman said the information was "commercially sensitive" but insisted that the cost would be absorbed by May Gurney and that Torbay Council would make £1 million of savings.

Tor2 also revealed that 6,000 homes had not yet had their bins, but the spokesman said: "We aim to have them by the end of the week, and if people have concerns their rubbish will be collected regardless."

Fifteen thousand of the old green wheeled bins will be redistributed to other households and the rest will be recycled into plastic pipes, new recycling boxes and bins.

So far 3,600 green bins have been recycled.

Seven thousand people who now receive an 'assisted lift service' will continue to receive that service automatically, and Tor2 is processing another 3,000 requests for assistance.

New Government and European Union targets for recycling mean that Torbay Council could face fines of up to £14 million a year if it does not cut the amount of biodegradable waste it sends to landfill.

Last year the council sent 37,800 tonnes of household waste to landfill at Teignbridge at a cost of £2,419,200.

Landfill tax accounted for £1,512,000 of that, and the level of tax is due to increase, with the council facing a further bill of £1,209,600 by 2013 if its landfill tonnage is not reduced.

The extra money would have to be found from council tax revenues.

Tor2 director Alistair Campbell said: "The new recycling and waste services are a fundamental change for Torbay, but a very positive one.

"This allows Torbay Council to avoid fines and landfill taxes of up to £14 million a year — a significant sum of council tax payers' money which would essentially be wasted without the introduction of the recycling service."

As the new collections started, many local residents were far from happy.

Pensioner Dennis Johnson, 70, from Ferndale Mews, says he has had a triple heart bypass operation and a stroke, and has arthritis in both hands, and that Tor2 staff had left his full boxes behind even though he had submitted special assistance forms.

His wife Jill, 68, is immobile, so no-one else can help him.

He said: "They saw that there were no boxes on the drive and they didn't even bother coming up the drive.

"I could wheel the old bins around. It was a struggle with the weight, but it was easier to move.

"My concern is for all the other elderly people in Torbay expecting a proper service.

"The bins are just sitting on the drive and there is no leaflet. There is nothing.

"If they can't get it right on day one, what is it going to be like for the rest of the time?"

Rebecca McPartlan-Morey, 32, a mother of two from Pillar Close, Brixham, said that nappies from her young children had been sitting in her black bin for two weeks already, and changes to the collection calendar had meant that they would not be collected for almost a month.

She rang Torbay Council and was advised her to put the nappies into the now-defunct green bin in the meantime.

She complained, and received a phone call from council staff to tell her that a special collection would take place to collect her waste.

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  • Profile image for This is Devon
    tor2, paigton  |  September 09 2010, 9:53PM


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    London Lady, Torquay  |  September 08 2010, 12:03PM

    Join the protest site on Facebook : "Torbay green wheelie bins"

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    William, Torquay  |  September 08 2010, 10:04AM

    12 minutes outside my house at dawn this morning smashing bottles one at a time. I thought noise polution was an offence. And my residual unrecyclable rubbish was moved and left uncovered on the pavement for the seagulls to scatter. Thanks for nothing Torbay council and Tor2.

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    Angela, Paignton  |  September 08 2010, 8:24AM

    I am happy to recycle my rubbish and not complaining about that - I am complaining that no collection been done, even though my calendar says collection for my address is Monday 6th September (always used to be too). Seen the collection vehicle in the area a few times but still not collected any recycling waste and its now Wednesday - hoping some miracle takes place whilst I am at work. I emailed them Monday and Tuesday - no reply, could not get hold of anyone on the phone. Managed to ring them a few minutes ago - HOORAY - spoke with some nice chap, took the details and fingers crossed our road - Redburn Road hopefully should get collected soon. Would suggest anyone who has not had a collection - if you cannot get hold of anyone by phone - email them, or ring like I did @ 8.15am - someone may answer and take the details.

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    Wayne Kerr, TQY  |  September 08 2010, 7:57AM

    I think I get it now.... If our full recycling bins are left outside long enough before being collected then it will all start to decompose naturally anyway. Thus eliminating the need to be collected in the first place.... Genius!

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    Sandra, Paignton Devon  |  September 08 2010, 7:44AM

    Bin going mad cause this is Willie silly,, wet and soggy at the end of my drive,,, whoops I raced against the rain to get home to ensure my dry rubbish,, all to no avail. DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHEN THEY WILL COLLECT MY RUBBISH!!!!!!!!! TQ3. P.S my neighbours no all about me now,,, how many empty wine bottles!!!!, Crazy, so sorry for you bin men, ah hope your backs are OK,, how many times a day do you have to bend!!! Sandra Paignton

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    robert, paignton  |  September 08 2010, 12:27AM

    what i would like to know is if they are goin to be save 14.000.000 per year in landfill tax's will we then get a coucil tax rebate from the money they are saveing ? if not then what do they plan to spend the money on ? or what services are they goin to inprove with the money ? or is it another way for the big bosses to get bigger pay rise's ? i have been told that should we go over our quota with the new box's they plan to charge us for them to take it ! i advise everyone to get to know there locol bin men for the answers to some of my questions cos you can bet your bottom dollar the coucil will not answer them for you ! save money with these box's they might but the cost alone in petrol from held up drivers and there time will cost as mush as replaceing the old bins and who is goin to give us car drivers the petrol wasted ? simple question and for the simple answer on one ! if they want to save the money the should charge manufacturers who make the packaging they are the one's who give us all the rubbish to throw out ! cut packaging buy fresh ! save a fortune !

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    gary, paignton  |  September 07 2010, 10:30PM

    Recyclable waste still not collected,after 2 days. Did i not read somewhere that May Gurney had experience of this waste handling from other areas. If so we have it easy!, it must have took years in the other areas for these experts to collect the waste. Too many chiefs..........................

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    HappyHappyHappy, Torquay  |  September 07 2010, 9:41PM

    Ok just to put a spanner in the works.... I don't see the problem! I have always recyled all I can and this actually makes no difference! The difficulties with there being no lids can be overcome by simply placing a flat black bag under the net. As for the food bins, I think this is the best idea they have had yet! Sorry I can't join in the ranting but just turn your televisions on and you'll see people are experiencing a whole lot more misery in the world than just having to sort through their rubbish! Bet they would swap places with us! KEEP SMILING :)

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    Paul, Paignton  |  September 07 2010, 9:24PM

    Bins where supposed to be collected Monday, saw the lorry collecting on our road at 17.10. i got back at 19.20 and they had only done half the road, and no sign of the lorry, it is now Tuesday 21.20 and guess what. our bins still outside and not emptied