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Calls for inquiry into botched rollout of new recycling scheme

26 Jun 2024 4 minute read
One of the new bin wagons in Denbighshire.

Disgruntled residents are calling for an inquiry into the botched rollout of a new recycling scheme.

Rubbish and recycling is continuing to pile up outside the homes of people across Denbighshire as the council admits it’s still missing collections.

The problems follow the launch two weeks ago of a new Trolibocs system, which sees residents expected to separate their own recycling, collections across the county.

Non-recyclable ‘black bin’ rubbish is now collected every four weeks as opposed to the previous two-week cycle, whilst a weighted hessian bag is used for recycling cardboard.

Ten days ago, Denbighshire Council chief executive Graham Boase publicly apologised for the problems, however thousands of residents are continuing to experience missed collections.

A petition calling for an inquiry has also been launched, attracting over 800 signatures since last week.

Obvious issues

Jacob Riddle, from Prestatyn, the man behind the petition, said he had researched some of the reasons for the problems and identified ‘obvious issues’.

He said: “To be clear, this isn’t an attack on any one person or those staff on the frontline who are having to pick up the pieces. But the council taxpayers of Denbighshire deserve projects that are well thought out and managed.

“The scheme cost £22 million and was first proposed in 2018. This is ample time for the council to risk assess and highlight the exact problems residents face today. I have spoken directly to Terberg, the manufacturers of the new Denbighshire lorries, such as the apply-named Binny McBinface, and they tell me the county’s lorries can handle 4-5 tonnes. If correct, that is a vast reduction on the previous 28-tonne lorries we used to have and would account for many of the problems.

“If those stats are accurate, it begs the question why these potential issues weren’t flagged earlier. It took one phone call to gather that information. These are the reasons why I’ve called for an inquiry into the new Troliblocs scheme: to ascertain what has gone wrong, why these issues weren’t identified earlier and why waste is being left to pile high across the region.

“That’s not to vilify anyone but so less costly lessons can be learned for the future.”

Missed collections

A spokesman for Denbighshire County Council said: “We are aware that as we continue to roll out the new waste and recycling service, there are still a number of missed collections for which we apologise for.

“The number of missed collections has fluctuated every day depending on the areas that we are collecting.

“Denbighshire has a mix of rural and urban areas; therefore, this impacts how many collections are completed each day.

“We are continuing to closely monitor this situation every day and expect temporary measures we have put in place to resolve this issue will take effect once the new service is fully embedded.”

He added: “These currently include bringing in additional temporary resources – vehicles and staff – to clear the backlog of waste and to support our planned collection rounds.

“We have crews out on Saturdays focussing on key areas which have been missed during the week. We again apologise to any households affected by missed collections.

“We understand that this is very inconvenient and upsetting for residents, but we are doing everything we can to catch up.

“We would also like to thank residents for the efforts made by them to ensure that their recycling is sorted correctly and placed in the appropriate containers.

“These efforts have greatly improved the quality of the recycling materials collected and this is really appreciated. Information about all aspects of the service is available on the website, including how to report a missed collection, and regular updates are posted on Denbighshire’s social media accounts.”

You can sign the petition calling for an inquiry here.

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John Ellis
John Ellis
18 days ago

I can’t of course speak for everyone in Denbighshire, but at least in our small hamlet in Dyffryn Clwyd the roll-out of the new system of recycling and non-recyclable waste collection has worked pretty well, and has functioned as promised in the advice which we received before the new scheme began. It’s early days, but so far, so good. It struck me as rather obvious that collecting recyclable items in four different containers rather than all binned together in just one would inevitably take crews longer to collect. But in spite of that, all our collections thus far have been… Read more »

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