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Teething problems for new waste service

By Stour & Avon Magazine  |  Posted: November 16, 2012

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THE biggest change to the rubbish collection service in decades in east Dorset has failed to go to plan for some householders in Wimborne and Ferndown.

Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) started its fortnightly collection of recycling and rubbish on Monday 29th October, but for some roads it has been a case of putting the bins out in the morning and bringing them in overnight, only to repeat the same procedure day after day.

Bill Field who lives in Ringwood Road, Ferndown said: "We were supposed to have our first collection of rubbish on 29th October, but they didn't come until 31st October."

Speaking on Tuesday he said: "Our second collection was due on Monday 12th and it hasn't been done so far."

He added this applied to the whole of Ringwood Road.

"We've been doing as we're told, ensuring the containers are put out no later than 7am on the day of collection but then having to remove them when they're not collected."

Mr Field added that he had paid £35 to have his garden waste collected. This was scheduled for Tuesday 6th November, but still hadn't taken place.

He said he had rung the missed collection line repeatedly and each time was told the collection would be the next day.

He also contacted the local depot, who had assured him they were working on the problem.

"There has been so much publicity about the changes, and we've all complied. We're disappointed with the service."

It has been a similar story in Grenville Road, Wimborne.

Mrs Anita Berry said: "Our street did not have a collection for nearly two weeks. We rang the number we were given to report non-collection, and were told it would take one to three days after a phone call. We got the same answer every day we rang. One neighbour rang on the second Wednesday we had no collection and told them that we were going to dump our bins outside their office if nothing was done. The following day we had a collection."

Mrs Berry added that after speaking to a council worker she was told that all the recycling they had done for the last two weeks was going to the landfill.

"I am very angry. We cleaned and sorted all our waste just for it to go to landfill. I was also told our road was not even on the map for collection. We never wanted this service. The last two weeks have been stressful trying to get someone to actually do anything."

Following the inquiry to DWP from the Stour and Avon Magazine Mrs Berry said: "The DWP managing director rang this afternoon and apologised for the mess up of the waste collection and has assured me that it shouldn't happen again. We have also been assured that we were on the map for collection and wasn't happy that we were told otherwise by the waste collectors."

The new service started in Christchurch at the beginning of October and the borough reported that in the first two weeks the recycling rate had doubled. It was rolled out at the end of October in Wimborne, West Moors, Verwood, Three Legged Cross, St Leonards and St Ives, Stapehill, Parley, Longham, Ferndown, Colehill and Ameysford. The remainder of east Dorset will receive the new service next April.

Steve Burdis, director of the Dorset Waste Partnership, said: "The roll-out of the new service to 53,000 households has involved huge changes for both residents and staff. A number of teething problems while things settle down are likely but always regrettable.

"I apologise that the service some households have received has been far below that which we aim to provide and that they expect. If we have missed a scheduled collection we will make all efforts to return and collect it within three days during this busy period. We are using all available resources to ensure bins are not left unemptied and that paid-for garden waste collections are made.

"The 'recycle for Dorset' service aims to increase the amount of waste Dorset recycles rather than sends to landfill. We cannot achieve this without the vital role residents play sorting their materials. The last few weeks have seen unprecedented levels of recycling, including food waste. Any cases of collected recycling going to landfill are unacceptable and should not have happened. We are carrying out our own investigations into why this happened to ensure it does not happen again."

County and district councillor Robin Cook said: "The principle of the Dorset Waste Partnership is to provide an integrated service and to deal with the increasing landfill tax charges we face. Our future Council Tax bills could rise to unacceptable levels without the implementation of this initiative. Whilst it is regrettable that there have been problems, it would be helpful if residents could be patient and allow time for the new service to settle down."

Marilyn Barber

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