Waste uncollected for six weeks - outrage at teething problems with new Harrogate bin collections

Teething issues with the roll-out of new bin collection routes appear to continue in some parts of the district, with some central Harrogate residents saying their waste had gone uncollected for six weeks.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 5:29 pm
Chippendale Place Harrogate, not had its rubbish collected for six weeks. Pictured Angry residents from left Sue Tolson, Marie Monaghan and Chris Brackley. Pictured: Gerard Binks.

Residents of Chippendale Place, in Harrogate, are among those who voiced their frustration at the new routes, saying their general waste was not collected for more than a month.

Resident Marie Monaghan said that rubbish bins on the street had gone uncollected since before the route changes came into effect on June 24.

In some cases, the bins were too heavy to be moved, while six weeks in the summer heat meant the contents were emitting a strong, unpleasant scent.

The bins were subsequently collected following enquiries from the local democracy reporting service.

Ms Monaghan said it was unfortunate that the visual presence of over-flowing bins on the street occurred during the running of the Great Yorkshire Show last week, which saw thousands of visitors flock to the area.

"We've just had the Yorkshire Show with a lot of people coming to Harrogate for that, and the place is looking like a tip," she said.

"It's one of my main concerns for the town - we had so many visitors and it was looking terrible."

Her nearby neighbour Chris Brackley agreed.

"It's not giving a good impression for Harrogate, that's for sure," he said.

He said residents had grown increasingly frustrated after reporting the issue to the authority multiple times.

"We can understand missing it for a week (with the changeover of routes), but six weeks is too long.

"We feel like we've been completely ignored, frankly."

In a statement posted on their social media accounts earlier this month, Harrogate Borough Council thanked residents for their patience, and emphasised the size and scale of the changes.

"As you can imagine, changing collection routes for around 75,000 properties over 500 square miles was never going to be an easy task, and we’ve identified a small number of teething issues that need ironing out," their statement said.

“We could give you a cliche about Rome not being built in a day, but we won’t."

The council said that bin collection crews had been working to address the backlog - often in the heat in recent weeks - as "teething issues" with the new system were ironed out.

Other reasons that could impact the collection of bins, according to the council, were access issues where residents' vehicles blocked the road for bin lorries, particularly in smaller streets.

The changes to bin collection were brought in to incorporate hundreds of new homes that have been built or are currently being built across the district, as well as to ensure "each round is as efficient as possible".

The review of collection routes and changes to timetables lead to the loss of one crew, which is usually staffed with between two to four crew members.

No jobs were lost according to the council, with the reduction in crew down to natural turnover.

Issues can be reported at https://my.harrogate.gov.uk/MyServices