East Cambs Council calls for urgent improvements after high number of litter complaints
A WASTE contractor has been forced to take on additional staff to help clean up East Cambridgeshire after the district council was inundated with complaints about litter.
East Cambs District Council acknowledged to residents that litter had begun to pile up across the district in recent months and announced that it had called contractor Veolia into talks to order urgent improvements.
Dave White, the council’s waste strategy team leader, told residents: “It is accepted that street cleansing standards in many areas of the district have declined, particularly in recent months.
“Discussions with the council’s contractor Veolia have resulted in the recruitment of additional staff and undertakings to make improvements. Progress is already visible, but it will take time for this to be seen across the whole area.”
The news comes just weeks after the authority announced it was planning to bid for a �5million grant from central government to introduce a fortnightly wheelie bin recycling collection, to help boost recycling rates to the 50 per cent needed to avoid EU sanctions.
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The rate is currently languishing at about 37 per cent.
Opponents of the scheme have pointed out, however, that the weekly black bag collection would remain in place, blunting the impact of a fortnightly recycling collection.
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Ely resident Simon Pendleton posted on the ShapeYourPlace website: “There is a problem with litter in the streets in the newer residential areas, to the north and west of the city. I don’t know about the rest of the district but anyone would think Ely residents are filthy!
“All of this mess derives from the contract the council has for kerbside collections which couldn’t be described as fit for purpose five years ago let alone in 2012.
“It makes East Cambs the most wasteful district in the county and probably in the East by failing to collect plastics, performing pathetically in recycling figures and as a result throwing the vast majority of our waste in the ground.
“Our weekly black bin collection – that the ruling party have turned in to an election issue – merely encourages residents to throw most of their waste in the black bin while the paltry recycling service does nothing to encourage separation of plastics and plastic packaging which forms much of our waste.”