A number of residents in Winton have had their recycling bins removed after apparent concerns over contamination.
The bins were removed on the borough’s high street without any notice for some.
Those living on Bryanstone Road are now concerned that they are no longer able to recycle any of their rubbish.
One resident, Chris Chubb says: “We all had our domestic bins here, and then overnight they disappeared – the council told us they were doing away with all our recycling bins and said that in future everything is all going to have to go in together.”
Another resident, Megan Saunders says: “We go through a lot of recycling and we have three bins, between eight of us for every two weeks – that’s not very many bins I would say.”
Ms Saunders and her housemates did receive a letter from the council informing them of the removal in January, but they say it was the first time they heard about any problems aside from a sticker they received back before Christmas.
Bournemouth Council’s response
Matt Sergant, Bournemouth Borough Council’s Waste & Resource Officer told The Breaker: “The section of Wimborne Road that is serviced from Bryanstone Walk had several ongoing issues, including contamination to recycling, multiple bins left on the pavement for days after collection and general bin misuse by both residents and passers-by.
“Waste education officers liaised with the residents to take bins off the public highway after collection, recycle correctly and to not leave excess by the bins but despite efforts, issues remained.
“The compliance team are monitoring the usage and change to the communal refuse bins but are not considering implementing recycling at this moment in time due to previous abuse of the bins from residents and passers-by.”
However, the Bins and Recycling Department at Bournemouth Council say that the bins still go through sorting where recyclable materials such as plastic bottles and cans are removed and recycled accordingly.
But residents are not convinced contamination was as big a problem it has been made out to be.
Mr Chubb says: “They say it’s because of cross contamination in the bins but I know that a lot of the waste was separated – it just seems a shame that they’ve done it.
“We did write to the council and they did respond eventually and said that they had issued letters, but we’ve got no trace of having received any letters at all.”
Communal recycling bins
On their Communal Street Bins webpage, Bournemouth Council say they appreciate and encourage recycling and want to make sure efforts are not wasted but there is a greater risk of contamination with shared recycling bins.
They are trialling locked recycling bins in some areas however, which can be acquired by contacting the council if you live in one of these trial areas and would like to recycle – they will arrange for a key to be delivered.
Ms Saunders contacted the council on the 20th January after problems with overfilled bins on the road.
Ms Saunders says: “We usually put the bins out the night before and we’ll go to pick them up the next morning, and there’s people putting their stuff in our bins and then they will be full with nowhere for us to put our stuff for the next couple weeks – that’s when I complained to the council.
“I did ask the council how we could stop other people putting their stuff in our recycling bins – suggesting they could either get us more communal recycling bins kind of like the general waste bins we have now and she said there was nothing they could do.
Fly-tipping on the road
Ms Saunders says: “I went to take in our recycling bin after putting it out on the right day and the right week and it was full of Clarke’s shoe boxes and wrapping paper that looked like it had not come from a student house.”
On its Communal Street Bins webpage, Bournemouth Council have also said reports of fly tipping are lower in communal bin areas – a benefit of introducing these new larger bins.
However, Nicole Coates, one of Ms Saunders’ housemates also witnessed cases of fly-tipping in their new communal bins.
She says: “Three nights ago a guy pulled up about half nine – I saw him walking up and putting all of his rubbish, boxes and boxes, his whole boot was full and he was putting it all in our new communal rubbish bins. The car just pulled up and drove off.”