MONTHLY bin collections by Conwy are a “health time-bomb”, a former mayor says.
Cllr Bill Darwin, who sits as an independent on Conwy County Borough and Towyn and Kinmel Bay Town councils, says people have reported rats, flies and seagulls near bins, fly-tipping, stenches from cat and dog excrement and other problems as a result of Conwy’s new four-weekly bin collection.
He said: “I am writing a report on the ‘trial’ four-weekly bin collection in the Kinmel Bay and Towyn communities.
“I have had considerable negative feedback from the residents and therefore I am compiling a report to try and ensure this information is fed back to Conwy County Borough Council (CCBC), which will determine whether the four-weekly collection does remain or not after the trial period.”
Cllr Darwin says he has received a number of reports of fly-tipping, sightings of rats and seagulls around bins, people standing in bins to squash down their rubbish, residents having to take extra waste to the tip, flies and excess rubbish being dumped by public bins.
He said: “Councils no longer attend to rat problems and a single rat can have six to eight babies every three to four weeks.
“Residents are also having to take excess rubbish to the local tip but for families without a car this is not an option – and residents have been complaining of the stench from dog poo and cat litter being so horrific that they now they take it to the public litter bins.
“If people go on holiday or are ill and miss their collection they will wait eight weeks for a collection.”
Cllr Darwin added: “My personal view is that a large percentage of the bins sit around for long periods with their lids open and they only have to be slightly ajar for a fly to enter.
“One fly can lay 500 eggs and the cycle of a maggot is only 10 days so this will definitely increase greatly the amount of flies, which can carry and cause many diseases.
“This is causing a potential health timebomb, which will see the return of all the old diseases that we thought had been eradicated.
“This situation will also negatively affect the working conditions for our collection staff.”
Clwyd West Assembly Member Darren Millar is concerned at the amount of roadside litter and fly-tipping across Conwy and is calling on the council to address the problem.
Mr Millar, who has been heading a campaign against the bin collections cuts and led a petition calling for the proposals to be ditched, said he had never seen so much roadside rubbish in the county and he believes it is a direct result of changes to the bin collections.
He said: “Leaving dog mess and other pet waste in bins for up to four weeks at a time clearly poses an unacceptable hazard to human health.
“The potential risks will only increase as warmer weather arrives over the next few months.
“Local residents are also reporting rodent sightings in the area as a result of waste being dumped or left at the side of bins, this also poses a public health risk.
“Conwy has just increased council tax for local residents yet they are getting less for their money when it comes to services such as bin collections. The public have ‘partnered’ with the council over the years to deliver some of the highest recycling rates in the country, but these unpopular four-weekly bin collections are damaging the goodwill with local residents.
“The Welsh Government need to step in to require that bins are collected no less frequently that fortnightly.”
Cllr Darwin is asking people to contact him with feedback on 07958643488, 01745344904 or to email firstname.lastname@example.org.