North West Wales

Conwy four-weekly bin collection is 'health time-bomb'

Fly-tippnig Image copyright Bill Darwin
Image caption Mr Darwin claims the four-weekly collections have led to an increase in fly-tipping

Four-weekly bin collections in Conwy county are causing an increase in rats, seagulls and flies, a councillor has claimed.

The council began a 12-month trial of monthly collections in September, to encourage residents to recycle more.

Councillor Bill Darwin, who represents Kinmel Bay, said the new arrangement was a "potential health time-bomb".

Conwy council said it is half way through the trial period and there is no evidence of an increase in vermin.

Mr Darwin said there had been an increase in fly-tipping in the Towyn and Kinmel Bay areas as people struggle to fit four weeks' worth of waste into one wheelie bin.

"It's not too bad if there's just one couple living in a house but it's a big problem for families," he said.

"People are resorting to taking household rubbish, including dog excrement and cat litter, to public litter bins and this is causing an increase in rats and seagulls.

"The smell is terrible and it's only going to get worse as the warmer weather comes."

Image copyright Bill Darwin
Image copyright Bill Darwin

More than 10,000 Conwy residents are taking part in the trial, while the council has brought in three-weekly bin collections for the rest of the county.

Clwyd West AM Darren Millar said complaints had "increased dramatically" since it had started.

"The situation is totally unacceptable and unless these changes are scrapped, it will have a detrimental impact on our tourism industry and local wildlife," he said.

The council's recycling and waste policy states that properties with fewer than six residents are restricted to one wheelie bin for household waste and that overflowing or open bins will not be collected.

There are weekly collections for recycling and food waste.

'Overflowing'

Mr Darwin is asking for more feedback from local residents as he writes a report to present to the council.

A council spokeswoman said there was "no evidence of an increase in vermin" and that "the vast majority of residents are disposing of their food waste correctly in their food waste bin".

She added the four-weekly trial was introduced after the council found half of rubbish thrown away to landfill could have been recycled, wasting £1.6m each year.

Since September, the trial has seen residents throw 507 tonnes less into their wheelie bins compared to the same period last year.

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