South East Wales

Bridgend recycling scheme 'spiralling out of control'

Maggots in food caddy Image copyright Angela Pearce
Image caption Maggots have begun to emerge from food waste after collections were delayed

Bridgend's new recycling scheme is "not working" with rubbish "piling up" on the county's streets, a group of councillors has said.

Dozens of residents have complained about delays in collections after Bridgend County Borough Council introduced a new system on 5 June.

Town and community councillors claimed the situation was "spiralling out of control".

Bridgend council apologised to residents for the inconvenience.

Its private contractor Kier said it was working hard to ensure all collections are up to date.

The new scheme aims to recycle almost all rubbish, with different coloured sacks for cardboard, paper, plastics and nappies and caddies for glass and food waste.

Homes with fewer than five occupants are limited to throwing out two bags of non-recyclable waste every fortnight.

But the changes have been branded "shambolic" on social media by some residents who have waited up to two weeks for their rubbish to be collected.

Image copyright Freya Sykes
Image caption Rubbish is "piling up" on Bridgend streets, according to town councillors

Angela Pearce, from Cefn Glas, posted a picture of maggots in her food waste caddy, which was supposed to have been picked up on Wednesday.

Her daughter Abi Pearce said: "It still hasn't been collected. It's so unfair that our elderly and disabled have to put up with this, I can't imagine how families are coping with nappies.

"I'm disgusted with Bridgend County Borough Council for allowing this."

John Whitehouse, from Litchard, said collections on his street were four days late, food waste caddies ordered around seven weeks ago have still not arrived and calls to the council and Kier had been fruitless.

"I don't disagree with the scheme in principle but I don't agree with how it was set up," he said.

"It's an absolute shambles and it doesn't seem as if the council or Kier have properly prepared for the changes.

"As a resident who pays my council tax every month on time, I would expect in return my waste to be collected on time by the council."

Image copyright Freya Sykes
Image caption Late collections have led to overflowing bin bags and caddies

More than 40 councillors have signed the letter calling on council leader Huw David to take "personal responsibility" for the situation.

"The scheme is well into its second week and there is no sign of things improving," it said.

"We call upon you to recognise that a crisis is unfolding before us and to intervene personally to bring this matter under control."

Bridgend town councillor Freya Sykes Bletsoe said the situation was "horrendous" and that many residents were frustrated at a lack of information from both the council and Kier.

Mr David said: "I can certainly understand people's frustration, and like them, I am extremely disappointed that Kier are not performing as well as they should be. It is clearly not good enough.

"I want to apologise to residents for the inconvenience that this has caused, and thank them all for persevering with us during this initial stage of the contract."

Kier's managing director Julian Tranter said: "We are sorry for the issues some residents have experienced.

"We are working hard to ensure that all collections are up to date and have successfully completed at least 90% of our planned collections every day since the start of the contract.

"In the first two weeks we've seen a 50% increase in recycling and would like to thank residents for their participation in the new service."

He added that teams are carrying out additional checks and the number of call centre agents has been increased to meet demand.

Anyone still awaiting collection should leave their rubbish out and missed collections should be reported at recyclingandwaste@bridgend.gov.uk, Mr Tranter said.

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