Piles of rubbish left uncollected outside Peterborough homes due to ‘unsafe bins’

Pauline (centre in blue) with other residents of Townsend Close. Picture by Terry Harris. THA
Pauline (centre in blue) with other residents of Townsend Close. Picture by Terry Harris. THA
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Bags of rubbish have piled up outside a block of homes after being left uncollected for nearly three weeks.

The large amount of waste is festering in Townsend Close in Millfield, off Lincoln Road, after the company contracted to collect refuse in Peterborough said a mechanical fault with the bins on site made them unsafe for their staff to use.

Piles of rubbish left uncollected outside Townsend Close

Piles of rubbish left uncollected outside Townsend Close

One of the residents affected by the problem is Pauline Bartlett (70) who told the Peterborough Telegraph 17 properties are currently affected.

She said: “A big stinking pile of rubbish is now piling up. Most people have young children and are worried about rats.

“I’m getting fed up looking at a pile of rubbish.”

Amey, which is contracted by Peterborough City Council to collect rubbish in the city, said it had stopped collections in November, leaving the managing agents of the properties Accent Nene to fix the problem.

Piles of rubbish left uncollected outside Townsend Close. Picture by Terry Harris. THA

Piles of rubbish left uncollected outside Townsend Close. Picture by Terry Harris. THA

A spokesman for Amey said: “These bins developed a mechanical fault in May 2017. This exposed a large hole in the ground whilst the bins were being emptied.

“This presented a hazard not only to our staff, but also to members of the public. At the time we advised the owners of the bins that they required repair, however no repairs have taken place since then.

“We deployed an additional operative on our waste collection vehicle to guide pedestrians away from the hole for several months, however this is not a proper, long-term solution to a public hazard.

“Health and safety is our top priority and we have therefore ceased to collect rubbish from this location since November.

“We look forward to the bins being repaired so we may safely resume our collections.”

On the day it was contacted by the PT for comment, Accent Nene emailed Ms Bartlett to say the rubbish will be cleared today (Thursday) and that it is working with the manufacturer to come and fix the bins.

Speaking to the PT after receiving the email, Mr Bartlett said: “What they need to do is to leave bins so we can put the rubbish in, not just clear it and disappear.”

Ms Bartlett said she had first reported that the bins were full on December 5.

She added that Accent Nene had collected rubbish which had been piling up back on December 23 but had not returned since that date.

A spokeswoman for Accent Nene said: “We are aware of the problem of rubbish collecting in Townsend Close, and we have been arranging for our contractors to remove it on a regular basis.

“Unfortunately, we can only remove the surface rubbish at present. This is because the bins are underground and, currently, cannot be properly emptied as they are in need of repair. Unfortunately, we did not know there was a problem with the underground area until very recently.

“The repair required is specialist and needs to be carried out by the original suppliers. This is what we are currently trying to arrange. Until we can do so, our contractors will continue to remove the surface rubbish at regular intervals. We are also trying to arrange for communal bins.

“We would like to apologise to our residents and anyone in the surrounding community for the inconvenience and discomfort we understand this is causing, and would like to assure them we are working to get the problem fixed as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for Peterborough City Council said: “Our Prevention and Enforcement Service team are aware of the refuse at Townsend Close and are currently assisting the housing association to resolve the situation and clear the refuse without the need for enforcement action to be taken at this stage.”