Thursday, 11 April 2013

Rubbish on the streets! and why we need our own waste center and why refuse collectors need to pick up rubbish

So my first blog on what people are telling me on the Penzance East doorstep is that people are concerned about rubbish and litter. A number have commented that the streets only seem to be cleaned when the tourist season is on it's way. They question why the powers that be only take pride in our town for some of the year. The problem is threefold, general litter being dropped by passers by, rubbish collections resulting in rubbish left on the street and fly tipping of waste. My solution to this is threefold.

Firstly we need refuse collectors to be better at cleaning up after themselves. Since the contract was taken over by Cory, there seems to be more rubbish left on the streets after they've been. Quite why, I don't know, they use the same kind of lorries and we all have the same wheelie bins we've had for years, yet this didn't happen under the old contractors. We need to find out why and councilors need to hold Cory to account on this, something I would do if elected. Although I think we do need the street cleaning teams to come here more often, I think it would be much more efficient if the weekly bin collection left our streets with less rubbish then when they came.  I would also question why Cory employees are being pushed harder and harder by their employers, why Cornwall Council wants to contract companies using such practices.

Secondly we need to have more bins, they're seems to be an abundance of them in the town and on the housing estates (something I would seek to protect), but on the old streets of the town none. On my street people often put rubbish in the wheelie bins, I don't mind this and personally I'd rather people cleaned up after their dogs but the waft when you open it on a hot day, not so keen on tbh. Something that the town center needs and all of the streets need is on street recycling. The amount of cans, paper, card and plastic sent to landfill this way is woeful. Recycling saves the planet a worthy enough cause but it also raises money by reselling those materials and lessens landfill taxes. Common sense is needed.

Thirdly Penzance is a fairly big town for Cornwall, add in West Penwith and there's a lot of people that have a lot of rubbish and recycling. At the moment things that can't be put in household waste and recycling (or should that be things that shouldn't be) need to be taken to St Erth to be disposed of. As someone who recently got rid of a lot of old and knackered furniture, I know it's not far but 6 odd miles 3 times there and back costs money I frankly don't have on fuel. I've never fly tipped in my life, but I can see why people do. I can see why people chop up Christmas trees and stuff them in with their rubbish or chuck old tvs and microwaves over hedges. Let's not forget not everyone drives in Penzance and I can't imagine many people take their recycling on the train to St Erth to be disposed of properly. What we need in Penzance is a waste and recycling center, so people don't have to drive up to St Erth. At the moment the old Penwith offices at St Clare are being sold off to property developers. We could easily make it a stipulation of that sale that a recycling and waste center be set up on the site and paid for by the developers. So people in Penzance can be encouraged to not fly tip nor put recyclable and hazardous materials in with their household rubbish. Hopefully we can save people like me in the division some fuel when we want to recycle and properly dispose of our waste.

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