Resident says council should pay for mess clear-up

A RUBBISH collecting resident wants to charge the borough council for cleaning up the mess from one of its recycling collection sites.

Carolyn Gath is demanding that Rotherham Borough Council cleans up its act at the Aston Townend recycling depot and also reinburses £100.94 of her council tax because she is clearing up litter herself.

The 65-year-old of Aughton Lane, Aston, says litter from the recycling collection site at the Aston shopping precinct is a real headache.

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And her complaints came in the same week that Wath residents demanded action after finding their recycling depot overwhelmed by waste.

Mrs Gath, who has a heart condition, has resorted to tidying up the rubbish being blown from the recycling site herself and putting it in her own dustbin.

Last Tuesday (6) Mrs Gath and a neighbour even found themselves stopping a discarded tent from blowing into the road which she says could have caused an accident.

Mrs Gath said the recycling site has been there since around 2008, but added: “It has been a problem on occasion but not at this level.”

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Mrs Gath said that residents are angry at the litter problem which has become much worse after Boxing Day’s snowy weather stalled regular waste collections.

She said that the situation is now “a whole new ball game”, adding that she wants some of her £127-per-month Council Tax back because she is doing the council’s work.

Using national statistics figures she claims the council should pay her £100.94 and is invoicing the authority.

Paul Hutchinson, a waste officer for Rotherham Council, said the authority appreciates Mrs Gath’s efforts but insisted that the site was not strictly the authority’s responsibility.

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He said: “We are aware of the issues with this particular site, which is not rented by the council and is privately-owned, meaning that it is the owner’s duty to keep their land in good order.

“We cannot litter pick or sweep around the site as it is sited on private land and it is the responsibility of the land owner.

“The recycling point has been situated there for many years but some members of the public and businesses appear to be abusing it.

“Not surprisingly, the bad weather and holiday period excess has increased the amount of waste dumped there.”

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Mr Hutchinson said that the borough council carried out “regular monitoring of the site”, but added: “Unfortunately we do not have resources to man the site or visit daily.”

In Wath, recyclers have been overwhelmed by waste during the past week as the depot off Barnsley Road reached breaking point.

Greengrocer Peter Levesley, who has a shop on nearby High Street, keeps his recycling in backroom skips, which he pays to have emptied.

“Last week that site was the worst I have ever seen it,” Mr Levesley said.

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“There were a lot of flattened boxes, so some of it may have been commercial, but there was a lot of household waste too.”

He added: “I’m hoping that this was just a blip over Christmas and we won’t see it again.”

Ann Roche, the Green Party’s candidate for Wath, said: “Clearly people are keen to recycle, which means authorities need to make sure they provide the means to do it.

“If it’s not made simple and straightforward, many people won’t make the effort.”

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Waste officer Paul Hutchinson said: “The bad weather and holiday period excess has increased the amount of waste taken to these sites but this is now all being removed, including dumped waste.

“Resources permitting, the sites are usually visited once a week to clear any dumped or excess waste.”

Have you come across a recycling disaster area? Tweet your pictures to @TiserDave or email them to [email protected].


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