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New bin rules are rubbished

Hertsmere was a council under siege this week as it faced a public backlash over a controversial decision to limit the rubbish it collects from households.

In the last few weeks residents have received letters informing them that overloaded wheeled bins would not be emptied, to encourage them to recycle waste.

The borough council claims the new policy is necessary to meet ambitious Government recycling targets and protect its refuse collection staff from injury.

But it has been inundated with complaints from householders who think the new policy is unfair and believe it will lead to rubbish piling up in the streets.

Councillor Spencer Pitfield, the council's portfolio holder for infrastructure and transportation, said he hoped residents would understand that the change was for environmental reasons.

"This is a difficult situation, but we have got to do this the Government is saying we have to minimise our waste and we have to recycle more."

To reduce the amount of rubbish it sends to landfill sites, the council will not empty wheeled bins if the lids cannot be closed, or collect separate bin bags.

But there have already been reports of half-empty bins, and bins with lids just a few inches too high, not being emptied.

One resident, Bob Sheldrake, of Aycliffe Road, Borehamwood, said: "If they are not collecting rubbish, then people who don't really care will dump it on the streets we are going to be infested with rats."

He suggested that, if the council wanted people to recycle more, it should provide people with containers for a range of different waste materials. Hertsmere has provided boxes for paper recycling to households.

Elana Jordan, of Brownlow Road, questioned why the lids had to be closed when the bins were lifted mechanically onto the refuse lorry. "It is absolutely ridiculous they have got a big dustcart that can go around collecting whatever rubbish is there," she said.

The proprietor of Tonibell Snack Bar in Shenley Road, Mark Hawkins, said he feared problems with dumped rubbish in the alley behind the premises would escalate.

But Councillor Morris Bright, the portfolio holder for leisure and environment, said: "We are asking people to work with us, for their generation and for future generations."

The council confirmed that its environmental health department would continue to tackle problems arising from dumped rubbish.

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