“Take It To The Household Recycling Centre….” But Be Prepared to Queue

It’s a frequent answer from the Labour Council that if you have a problem with rubbish, “You can take it to the Household Recycling Centre.”

Don’t want to pay for a green wheelie bin? Take your garden waste to the household recycling centre.

Can’t afford to pay for a bulky rubbish collection? Take your items to the Household Recycling Centre.

Wheelie bin isn’t emptied because you’ve slightly overfilled it and the lid won’t shut? Take all the contents to the Household Recycling Centre. (If you haven’t got a car, they suggested you should ask a friend to give you and your bags of messy rubbish a lift in their car – yes, honestly.)

The latest is that when the wheelie bins are rolled out to the wards of Ladywood, Aston, Nechells and Soho, unlike in the pilot wards of Brandwood and Harborne there will be NO free collection of the old containers (dustbins, which many people still have from when they were given out free in the 60s/70s, and recycling boxes). Instead, residents will be advised to dispose of their containers – guess where – at one of the Household Recycling Centres.

The problem with all this, is that there are 3 HRCs in the North of the city, and only one – at Lifford Lane – in the south of the city. Little wonder therefore that at both the Edgbaston Tasking Meeting and the Edgbaston Ward meeting this week, there have been angry complaints about people queueing for 40 or 45 minutes in an attempt to get into Lifford Lane.  Some people have waited this long, still not get there, and turned round and gone home.

It was obvious from the beginning that Lifford Lane wouldn’t be able to cope. Alterations should have been made to it before the green wheelie bins came in as it was also obvious that this would increase enormously the number of people going there.

People queueing all around Lifford Lane will do nothing to help the air quality and the ease of traffic movement in the Kings Norton area. Plus there is a very real danger that if people can’t get rid of their rubbish legally, and they can’t face the queues at Lifford Lane, some people will fly tip. We all know they shouldn’t. but I’m afraid some people will.

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