Sunday, 15 April 2012

Cornwall Council downgrades waste service to Ridgegrove

The number one topic for Cornwall Council at the moment is the new waste contract which is suffering failures all over Cornwall.

From people who have not had their new recycling containers delivered to the inability to get through to the call centre. And many thousands of residents have not had their waste picked up - some for as long as 15 days.

All this tells the story of an administration that has failed to deliver on a major new project. If you can't trust them to empty your bins, what can you trust them with?

And whilst many of these problems might be described as teething troubles, there are some changes which go deeper than that.

The Ridgegrove Estate in Launceston has communal bins areas. Residents have to take their black bags along to one of five or six mega-bins sited around the estate. These have always been emptied either twice or three times per week because of the amount of waste put there. And the contractors have always made sure that the bin areas are properly cleaned and disinfected each time.

But the new contract downgrades the level of service to just a single pick up each week. According to the officer who told me this, the person in Truro who wrote up the new contract simply 'forgot' that Ridgegrove needed a different type of service.

The pictures accompanying this post were taken today. They show the bin areas already full to over-flowing despite having been emptied on Wednesday. The next pick up is not due until next Wednesday.

I've asked Cornwall Council for an explanation of why the service has been down-graded and for an urgent re-think to restore the previous service. But so far, I've had no answer from any of the key decision-makers.

For a discussion about why Ridgegrove has a different type of service - and what might happen in the future - see this post.

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