This morning I was out on Ridgegrove Estate with three council officers looking at rubbish collection issues.
Local residents have rightly complained in the past about the communal bins and frequency of collections. So there are now three collections per week and the collection crews and street rangers are doing a lot more to make sure that the bin areas are kept as clean as possible.
The prompt for this visit was the recycling initiative being undertaken in Launceston at the moment. Despite pretty good recycling rates in much of the town, the Ridgegrove Estate is still lagging behind. We were looking to see what the council could do to help improve rates.
Of course, recycling where you have communal bins is much harder. There is no dedicated space for recycling bags and they often get swamped by ordinary black bags if the bins are full. So I asked the officers to come up with a way of providing recycling sections and asked them to provide signs to show what sort of materials can be recycled.
The recycling team will also be talking to residents to encourage them to recycle as part of their six week effort around town.
Of course, there is only so much that the Council can do. The big effort has to come from residents being willing to recycle. But the Council needs to make this as practical as possible and make sure local people know what can be recycled.
Whilst most of the bin stores we looked at were pretty clean and tidy, there is still a big problem with the one on Ridgegrove Lane at the bottom of the estate. This was overflowing and I am concerned that it causes a danger to people coming down the steps. I have asked the officers to investigate what can be done to make it safer or to provide alternative collection facilities for nearby householders.