Sunday, 15 July 2018

'Overflowing bins give Henley poor image'

OVERFLOWING rubbish bins are giving visitors a bad impression of Henley, say two town councillors.

OVERFLOWING rubbish bins are giving visitors a bad impression of Henley, say two town councillors.

David Eggleton and Kellie Hinton say they are receiving a growing number of complaints about places where the bins are filled so quickly that the rubbish spills on to the ground or is left beside them.

These include Greys Road between Makins recreation ground and Greys Road car park as well as parts of Greys Hill, New Street, Reading Road and Marlow Road.

The councillors want the bins to be emptied more frequently, or for larger or more bins to be installed by South Oxfordshire District Council, which is responsible for them.

Councillor Eggleton is chairman of Gainsborough Residents’ Association, which has organised a number of tidy-ups on the estate as well as some planting and landscaping at the entrance off Greys Road. He said: “I don’t know whether the district council is collecting less often but we’ve got overflowing bins all over the place and people are leaving rubbish beside them instead.

“Henley prides itself on being tidy and puts a lot of effort into that. If we’re telling people we’re a nice place but they visit and see a mess, it makes us look bad.”

Cllr Eggleton said the problem was “unfair” on the staff from Biffa, the district council’s contractor, who empty the bins.

“It makes more work for them,” he said. “They have to pick up extra bags and any bits of rubbish that have fallen off or been blown about by the wind. The rubbish also gets into the hedgerows and I doubt that’s good for the wildlife.

“It’s frustrating because of the work we put in. People have been asking what I’m going to do about it for at least six months now.”

Councillor Hinton is chairwoman of Henley In Bloom, which has won gold in the Thames and Chilterns region for five consecutive years and won its first gold at national level last year.

She said: “The town council regularly empties its bins at Mill Meadows and its other parks so it’s a shame that doesn’t happen elsewhere. It has become noticeably worse this year and we’re hearing a lot more about it.

“I don’t think we’ve become any busier this year — I just think the bins are not being emptied as often. Biffa and the district council need to look at where the problem areas are and target them. We’re a riverside town so things like this will encourage rats.”

Henley town and district councillor Stefan Gawrysiak said the frequency of bin collections hadn’t changed.

He said: “There are quite a lot of bins overflowing in Henley at the moment, more so than usual. Perhaps they could empty them more frequently for a while, just to get back on top of the situation.

“Some action is definitely needed because that rubbish is spilling over into the street and making the place look dirty.”

But Joan Bland, who also represents Henley at district level, said: “I think Biffa is doing a perfectly good job.

“If it was up to me, I would remove litter bins entirely as it would force people to take their rubbish home with them.

“When I ran a shop in Eton, they took away all the bins because of bomb scares and the town was spotless. Litter bins just encourage littering.”

A South Oxfordshire District Council spokesman said Biffa emptied bins in busier areas of Henley every day and either once or twice a week elsewhere.

He said: "We are monitoring the situation and will put notices on the bins where this is happening. We will also review the frequency of collections for individual bins."

He said the council had received a "small number" of reports that people were wrongly disposing of household waste in certain bins.

He said: "If we can identify who is responsible for the additional rubbish we will write to advise them that they should put their domestic waste in their household bins. We can also take enforcement action against persistent offenders."

Anyone who is concerned about a public bin should report it to Biffa on 0300 061 0610.

* What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley, RG9 1AD or email

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