'We're browned off over bins decision': Families want U-turn on winter collections
FAMILIES are calling for a U-turn on a council policy which means their brown waste bins won't be collected for another four months.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council announced last year that it was suspending collection of the bins, which are used to collect garden waste and leftover food, from November 30 until the beginning of April.
Now, particularly following the Christmas period, many residents say their bins can't cope with the demand.
Others say that they were not aware of the council's decision to scrap its regular collection of brown bins over the winter period.
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As a result, they have continued to put left over food into the brown bins.
The council had advised residents to put food into grey bins during the winter period.
Garden waste should be taken to the incinerator at Hanford, or to Federation Road, Burslem.
Resident Debi Allbutt, aged 46, of Hislop Place, Sneyd Green, said: "Five months of the year without collecting the brown bin isn't good enough. Other councils collect all the bins all year round.
"Just because it's winter, doesn't mean there isn't garden rubbish to collect. There are still leaves to sweep up.
"My brown bin is full with all the extra food and rubbish over Christmas. My grey bin is completely full too. We often have to go to the tip anyway, because the bins are not big enough.
"Now the bins are all full of stinky rubbish. We are getting lots of foxes coming round, after the food. We should still have collections all year round."
Lisa Llewellyn-Hughes, aged 41, of Row Moor Way, Sneyd Green, said: "I have only just found out that the council are not collecting the bins.
"Mine is full and everyone else is in the same position. When the weather turned mild, I have been out picking up all the leaves in the garden.
"The bins will start smelling and we do get a lot of foxes around here."
Andrea Hughes, aged 32, also of Row Moor Way, Sneyd Green, said: "It's disgraceful. I've got all the waste from before Christmas.
"People can't be expected to go to the tip in the weather conditions we are getting, or to empty out the food from the brown bin into the grey one, which is what we have been told to do. It's unhygienic. Everything left over from Christmas is in the bin."
Like many others, Andrea says the waste collection regime in her area is becoming unmanageable.
She said: "I have been ringing the council for three days trying to get them to take the rubbish away."
Councillor Paul Shotton, the council's cabinet member for commissioning, procurement and finance, said the suspension provides a way for the authority to save money.
He said: "The city council has had a range of challenging decisions following the announcement of the level of central government funding.
"A review of waste service provision revealed that there were potential savings that could be realised if the brown bin collection service, which is a non-essential service, was reduced during the winter period, when the demand for the service is very much reduced.
"Careful consideration was given to the period of non-provision of this service.
"I would like to remind people that they can still take this type of waste material to the council's two household waste recycling centres throughout the year."