Piles of green bags left dumped in Cardiff suburb for weeks – Wales Online

Piles of green bags left dumped in Cardiff suburb for weeks – Wales Online

Piles of dumped rubbish bags have been clogging up a pathway in a Cardiff suburb, with locals claiming it’s because a new recycling scheme is not being followed. An unsightly mass of bin bags – mostly green recycling bags – was seen strewn in a courtyard in the Channel View estate, a residential area comprising flats and houses in Grangetown.

Residents say the rubbish has been piling up for more than three weeks ever since Cardiff Council implemented a new segregated recycling scheme on February 20. The scheme has swapped green recycling bags for two sacks and a caddy, with the aim for residents to separate recyclable items at home before putting them out for kerbside collection.

The council said once separate collections start for properties, it will no longer collect green recycling bags and they will not be available from stockists. Grangetown is one of 10 wards where the new method has recently been introduced and its local councillors said already they have noticed that “the quality of our recycling is improving and our streets are getting cleaner” following the implementation. For the latest Cardiff news, sign up to our newsletter here

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Rubbish bags in a residential courtyard, clogging up a pathway

Local residents claim some of their neighbours are still using green bin bags, which are no longer being collected from houses in the area

Flats are not part of the new scheme, so it isn’t unusual for tenants in the flats in the Channel View estate to leave their green bags for collection in the courtyard in question. But the sheer number of bags dumped there recently has prompted suspicion from some residents that their neighbours are not following the new scheme, but instead continuing to use the old green bin bags and fly-tipping them in the courtyard, where they have remained uncollected for weeks.

Cardiff Council said the issue “warrants further investigation” and warned enforcement action will be taken if any of the green bags have been dumped by people who do not live in the flats. The courtyard area is notorious for being a fly-tipping spot, residents told WalesOnline, but it has become worse than ever, with masses of household rubbish now causing a mess.

Mehret Habtom, 38, said whilst she herself had started using the new bins, “some people didn’t respond [to the change].” “[The rubbish] has been there for three weeks since they started [introducing the new bins],” she said. “Before some people [fly-tipped], but it wasn’t as much as this time. I’m scared about rats. I’ve seen birds breaking the bags. I don’t like to see it like that. I don’t know why the council hasn’t picked up the rubbish. Now we can’t walk down there. I’m scared for people who cycle along there.”

Rubbish bags in a residential courtyard, clogging up a pathway

Residents say they are concerned about rats being attracted to the rubbish

She added: “I know what my responsibility is. But maybe some families don’t understand what the instructions are, some people don’t read – maybe it’s a problem like that. Myself, my kids and my friends have read the instructions and have responded.” Another local resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said people were not used to the new system and claimed there had not been “any introduction to it”. “[The refuse collectors] just came one day and threw the bags in the door. Nobody knew anything about it,” she said.

She claims the rubbish was left out there before the new recycling bags were introduced to the area – and pointed out people are unlikely to take the bags back inside to sort out their rubbish according to the new method. “I think the council wants to make a stand and say: ‘We’re not going to take the rubbish. You have to learn the new way.’ But they should take [the rubbish] first.”

Describing the sight as “awful”, she continued: “It’s not healthy and I don’t think they should expect people to go through the rubbish and sort it out. I think they’re expecting people to take the rubbish back home [and sort it out], but you don’t know which one is your rubbish now, do you? That’s not going to happen. Okay, there’s a new system but it takes time for people to get used to it. [They should] clear it out and get the people used to the system.” Support award-winning journalism with WalesOnline’s Premium app on Apple or Android

A communal bin overflowing with rubbish bags

Residents believe some people haven’t understood the new recycling system

She also said a communal bin for the flats had been moved into the courtyard and left there around one or two months ago, but she’s unsure how it got there. She claimed it has not been emptied at all since then – all the while attracting more fly-tipping to the area – because it is in the wrong place. “I think if [the council] take [the communal bin] people aren’t going to add to it,” she said.

The new recycling scheme was introduced to 37,000 properties across the city, with the council carrying out targeted communications to the areas affected. In addition to Grangetown, the wards of Ely, Gabalfa, Heath West, Llandaff, Pentwyn, Pentyrch, Rhiwbina, Splott and Trowbridge have all recently changed to the new method.

Residents were issued with a new blue caddy for glass bottles and jars; a red sack for metals, plastics and food and drink cartons; and a reusable blue sack for cardboard and paper. The situation in Channel View is at odds with improvements seen in other areas of Grangetown since the scheme was introduced, with one resident reporting that “the difference to the cleanliness of the streets since it started is absolutely staggering”.

Picture taken by a Grangetown resident before the new recycling scheme was introduced

…and after

The resident said: “I used to absolutely dread walking my dog after bin day. The green bags were dreadful for either blowing open, or getting torn apart by seagulls. The litter would remain for weeks. I regularly litter pick my street and I suspected the vast majority of litter I collected wasn’t dropped by residents, but had come from their bins. This does not appear to be a problem now. I walked around this morning and the streets were almost completely spotless with barely a single piece of litter to be seen anywhere. I cannot believe what a difference it’s made.”

In response to the piles of rubbish in Channel View, Grangetown councillors Ash Lister and Sara Robinson, said: “It’s disappointing to see that some residents continue to disregard our community and their neighbours by fly tipping their rubbish in this way. Having taken part in the rollout of the new segregated recycling scheme – which is reaching more than 30,000 properties across Cardiff – we’ve seen that the quality of our recycling is improving and our streets are getting cleaner.

“We recognise that, as with any new system, there have been challenges as residents and teams get used to the new way of separating their household waste. But it’s been great to hear the feedback from residents about gradual improvements over the last few weeks. We are always available to speak to residents about the new system and would encourage them to visit the Council website for more information.”

A spokesperson for Cardiff Council said: “The council is sending enforcement officers to the area to check these green bags to see if they have been dumped by people who do not live in the flats. If this is the case, and we find evidence, then enforcement action will be taken. Flats are currently not part of the new sack sort recycling scheme so we would expect to see recyclables waiting for collection in green bags in this area. However, this amount, and resident concerns warrants further investigation.

“The misrepresentation of waste and fly tipping is an offence – it damages the environment and costs the taxpayer a significant amount of money each year to clear. The new sack sort recycling scheme, is already improving the quality of the recycling collected from residents’ homes in other areas. The street scene will significantly improve too, as the new sacks cannot be ripped open by animals and birds, reducing the amount of litter on our streets.”