Before the wheelie bins were introduced in the two pilot wards of Brandwood and Harborne, I asked the Labour Council Cabinet Member how the Council planned to stop people who are given wheelie bins, from adding their extra back bags (which don’t fit in their bins) to the piles of black bags left out legitimately by people whose houses have been deemed unsuitable for wheelie bins, and who are therefore still on the black bag system.
The answer I got back was something on the lines of “Why would people do that?”
The answer of course is because the wheelie bin will only take a certain amount of rubbish, and extra black bags beside it will not be collected. Nor will any of the rubbish be collected if the wheelie bin lid is left open. So if people produce more rubbish than will fit inside their wheelie bin with the lid closed, once they know any extra won’t be collected, it stands to reason they will find somewhere else to get rid of it.
The Council advice is for householders to take excess household waste to the tip (which in our area is Lifford Lane). Of course this is sensible, and responsible people will do that. But sadly not everyone is responsible. This is obvious. Why do some people think it acceptable to fly tip rubbish in a pretty hedgerow? I don’t know – but they do, we have all seen it. Why do some people think it acceptable to throw their rubbish out of the upper floor of a tower block? I don’t know – but they do, I have seen that too. Likewise it seemed pretty obvious from the beginning that some people – faced with a limit on how much black bag rubbish they can put out – will find somewhere else to dispose of it. And they won’t all bother to drive to the tip to do it responsibly.
A friend who lives in the Quinton Road area of Harborne Ward where some houses are unsuitable for wheelie bins and so still have black bags, tells me she has seen cars pull up and the drivers chuck out black bags of rubbish to join the piles of black bags put out legitimately by residents whose houses are deemed unsuitable for wheelie bins. The perpetrators don’t live in the road, but they have seen a place to get rid of their excess, and they have taken it. My informant reports that in her opinion the place has never looked such a mess.
Likewise in the photo at the top of this post – which was taken in Harborne today. It’s a total mess. The most likely explanation for this is that some people’s black bags didn’t all fit in their wheelie bins and so they have fly tipped them beside a waste bin to get rid of them.
It’s no good asking why they did it. The fact is, they did. And it’s high time the Labour Council accepted that, for whatever reason, some people WILL do these things. And it is up to the Council to introduce strong enforcement action to stop them, and to pick up the stuff promptly whenever it is dumped inappropriately. Otherwise wheelie bins are going to lead to dirtier streets, not cleaner ones.