On the 4th July, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council introduced a new £2.4 million recycling service. The vehicles bought would have enabled weekly collections to take place where there were once fortnightly ones. However, there was one major problem with this plan: the vehicles which the council purchased were too wide for some streets.
While ostensibly being a humourous example of municipal incompetence, this blunder has caused major problems for some residents. Indeed, in ‘at least two-dozen streets’ residents had not had their recycling collected in more than two weeks. As temperatures have climbed nationwide, ever larger piles of recyclable waste attracted ‘maggots, vermin and a foul smell.’
To deal with this problem, the council has started to use a smaller van to collect recyclable waste in problem areas. However, this solution, which Cllr Ann Beech has implied is temporary, took far too long to implement. How would you feel if for two whole weeks you had to live on a street in which, to use the words of a resident, ‘”food waste… [was] really festering.”’?
If this weren’t bad enough, residents of 40 other, wider streets in the borough have not had their recyclable waste collected because of time pressure that this new arrangement has created. The fact that any of this has happened at all is simply ridiculous given that, as one resident put it, ‘They’ve had long enough to plan for this’.
This wasteful plan reeks of embarrassingly poor planning. After it was conceived, it should have been binned.