Bin bags build up after tip closed

THOUSANDS of bags of rotting rubbish have been left uncollected across north Essex after a landfill site was closed because of strong winds. Essex County Council decided to temporarily shut its Bellhousesite in Colchester after Saturday's weather conditions led to health and safety concerns.

THOUSANDS of bags of rotting rubbish have been left uncollected across north Essex after a landfill site was closed because of strong winds.

Essex County Council decided to temporarily shut its Bellhousesite in Colchester after Saturday's weather conditions led to health and safety concerns.

The closure meant refuse collectors could not unload black bags and many residents have been left with piles of rubbish dating back to Christmas Eve.

And people whose collection is normally on a Friday have now been asked to take their bin bags off the streets until the end of this week.


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The worst hit areas in the borough were Stanway, Lexden, Dedham, Langham, Prettygate and West Bergholt with as much as three quarters of the black bag waste for those areas remaining.

Colchester Borough Council is responsible for the collection of the waste and the cabinet member in charge yesterday apologised for the delays.

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But leader of the Labour Group in the town, Tim Young, said the council should have contingency plans in place.

He said: “There are lots of black bags still out there and they look dreadful - it is rotting, wet, rubbish which is a health risk and also makes the town look bad.

“They did not collect at Christmas when demand was at its highest, so in some cases there is three weeks of rubbish.

“I have no sympathy because they must have contingency plans in place when the landfill is not available, that is just common sense.

“The excuses just do not stack up and the people of Colchester are not happy about this.”

Permission was given for a “small number” of the borough council's vehicles to be emptied at a site near Stansted on Saturday, which the council said had allowed some collections in the worst affected areas.

However, further delays of several hours were experienced yesterday as refuse vehicles from councils which use the Bellhouse site queued to unload their collected waste.

Peter Chillingworth, the borough councillor responsible for street services and waste, said: “We made good progress over the weekend and are clearing the backlog as quickly as we can.

“However, we would like to ask residents to bear with us as there may be some further delays this week while we catch up with the collections which couldn't be made over the weekend.

“I would urge all residents whose usual collections take place on Fridays to take their black bags back in as we will not be able to collect again in these areas until this Friday.”

He added Shrub End Civic Amenity site was open as usual if residents wanted to take their rubbish there.

“Although the disruption to refuse collections was clearly outside our control, we would nevertheless like to apologise to residents whose collections have been affected for the inconvenience caused,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Essex County Council said its site had re-opened yesterday but warned it could close if weather conditions deteriorated again.

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