Queens Road re-visited

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Richard
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Re: Queens Road re-visited

Postby Richard » Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:56 pm

I agree to some extent, but what amuses me is that every single street litter-bin in Hastings bears the words:
"Litter & Dog Waste" and they have a silly little ashtray perched on top.
That must be a toxic package to recycle at some great cost.

At least if the bins do act as a magnet for dumping then the council can get rid of the rubbish rather than have household waste flung along the pavements or litter dropped wantonly by the general public, with the costs of having to sweep all that up.
Not sure how the equation balances cost-wise!
Also I think the public do have a right to have litter bins and not to have them removed entirely because they are attracting dumping, surely a small sign warning about fines for offences should be tried first rather than a knee-jerk reaction of complete removal?

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seahermit
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Re: Queens Road re-visited

Postby seahermit » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:20 pm

I agree wih that. The council make it hard for people to get rid of stuff, the only official tip being down Bexhill Road. Why on earth are there not a few small dedicated areas where people can leave items, to be collected later by a van? That, together with stiffer fines for just dumping stuff anywhere, might encourage people to change their habits.

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Richard
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Re: Queens Road re-visited

Postby Richard » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:12 pm

Thanks seahermit, I have sent the following to Godfrey at the council, weaving parts of your comments into the fabric:

Dear Godfrey,

Thanks very much for the response you elicited from Cameron Morley, re- the disappearing litter bins along Queens Road into town.

1. This does seem a little unfair and means litter now accumulates along our pavements, plus it does not answer the question of what is the council policy for the placement of litter bins in Hastings?
Some bins do act as a magnet for dumping and sensibly the council wants to reduce the cost of very frequent collections to remedy the unsightly refuse but their complete removal surely means more litter on the streets.
Not sure how the equation of consequent street-sweeping balances out cost-wise!
To have litter bins removed entirely because they are attracting dumping seems excessive, surely a small sign warning about fines for offences should be tried first rather than a knee-jerk reaction of complete removal?
I note that there are other litter bins along back streets that attract similar dumping but these are left alone, presumably because the eyesore is not on a public highway and visible to all vehicles running in and out of town.

2. The council make it hard for people to get rid of stuff, the only official tip being down Bexhill Road. Why on earth are there not a few small dedicated areas where people can leave items, to be collected later by a van? That, together with stiffer fines for just dumping stuff anywhere, might encourage people to change their habits.
Actually there are mega-bins (1100 Litres?) with hinged lids, that are located on the road parallel to Queens Road, namely along Stonefield Road and they bear warnings about large fines for dumping of inappropriate waste.
I suspect part of the problem is that some properties are poorly serviced with large waste bins owing to lack of access or space restrictions.

'Saxonhurst' at the roundabout has a large (1100L?) hinged lid waste receptacle and glass recycling bins too whereas along St Helens Road generally there are no bin facilities available whatsoever and no designated local large waste receptacle for residents to use.


3. Every single street litter-bin in Hastings bears the words:
"Litter & Dog Waste" and they have a silly little ashtray perched on top.
That must be a toxic / awkward package to recycle at some great cost?

4. I sympathise with the council to some extent because articles (quite often useless junk) are dumped outside the HARC charity shop halfway down Queens Road. In the same way that furniture, bits of beds and junk constantly get dumped along the pavement between White Rock and Eversfield Place. Almost every night! In a week or so you could furnish your home with it all ... It's sheer laziness by some people, hard to know how to stop it happening.


Kind regards,

Richard

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seahermit
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Re: Queens Road re-visited

Postby seahermit » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:33 pm

Well done, Richard! I doubt whether the Councillor has ever received an "investigative" approach of this kind before, might shake his ideas up a bit!

There should be more local channels for public debate of this kind, maybe the Hastings Online Times would be interested in what you are doing .. or the Observer? Might be worth sending them a short item, after all, it concerns us all.

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Richard
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Re: Queens Road re-visited

Postby Richard » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:50 pm

I think I have to be somewhat careful what I divulge as the council tries to protect its emails by stating they are confidential and only for the attention of recipients.
However, after putting the council's response to my latest email through a 'cheese processor' I have come up with the following:

Our street cleaning and waste contracts with 'Kier' will be ended by mid 2019, the Borough Council intends to take back street cleaning. In the meantime relationships between Kier and the Borough Council are strained and contract amendments are difficult. Taking back this service in-house will make it a more flexible service. At the moment, officers are fully stretched to try to make the current contract work!
Household Waste sites (a County Council facility) the County has just decided to close such sites in Wadhurst and Forest Row and to introduce charges for disposal of non-domestic waste. More areas to dump waste would be difficult to finance or gain planning permission to open up.
One may as well take it to the current designated household Waste site.
The Borough Council already offers a bulky waste collection at a reasonable price. The Hastings Borough Council does place some “mega-bins” for domestic waste and regularly gets complaints about dumping in those locations, warnings are attached to the mega-bins. Additional bins incurs additional costs and with the massive government cuts money is extremely limited. Effective enforcement would require a very significant increase in resourcing, sadly.

Litter and Dog waste from bins ends up being incinerated at the Energy from Waste Plant in Newhaven and that energy recovered as electricity.

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seahermit
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Re: Queens Road re-visited

Postby seahermit » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:05 am

Nobody else can solve the council's problems for them - they should by now have learned from their experience what way works best and is cost-effective. But it seems obvious that closing household-waste dumps and even imposing charges for disposal of waste is merely going to encourage people more to illegally dump stuff wherever they can. People are already resentful and suspicious about how all the council tax is spent. Counter-productive and in the end the council will have to pay out anyway - to contractors to have it removed.

It hardly seems vastly expensive to have a few small collection points in suitable corners where old chairs, busted heaters etc. etc. could be deposited. Cheaper maybe than paying contractors to clear up the streets around rubbish bins?!

But maybe I'm just naive about the whole thing.

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Richard
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Re: Queens Road re-visited

Postby Richard » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:07 am

Well, the council do operate a large item(s) doorstep-collection facility and it's up to 3 items for £21 which sounds cheap enough.
As for street litter bins, as far as I am aware all the double-entry large 'cube' litter bins, in the stretch by Peacocks and across the other side to Bon Marche, are provided by the shops there and they use their own contractors to empty them.
So, it looks like the council now only have one litter bin to empty from the whole stretch of St Helens road down Queens road into town.
One bin by Santander and the council's contractor Kier can't empty it often enough, presumably because it is right by the traffic light junction or because, as Godfrey says, relations with Kier are strained and Kier are not doing their job. (apparently Kier are set to lose their contract with all the participating boroughs and districts in East Sussex councils by mid 2019).
I suggested another bin but understand the council say they cannot afford to provide more.
This sound daft as it means emptying one small bin much more frequently (with a company that is dragging its feet...Doh!)

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seahermit
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Re: Queens Road re-visited

Postby seahermit » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:47 am

The council are giving you a certain amount of bullshit. I know someone who briefly did a spell emptying bins for the council, when he was looking for a "proper" job. It takes just seconds to empty a litter bin, the collection teams try to empty quite a number in numerous streets in one "round" and one or two extra bins make very little difference. The only real cost is the initial outlay on the bin.

I walked down Queens Road last night and, as you say, one bin in the whole street from Santander onwards is ridiculous. Obviously it encourages littering and also dumping, which people do in the charity shop doorways.

I was down at Glyne Gap the other day. The bin by the bus-stop (for the return to Hastings) was jammed, clearly had not been emptied for probably atleast two days. It is unlikely a bin in that location away from shops would fill up in just a few hours, so the council's assertion that bins are emptied every day is not true either!

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Richard
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Re: Queens Road re-visited

Postby Richard » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:02 pm

Yes! I am afraid BS is the usual stuff we are fed whilst being given partial truths and kept in the dark.
For a start the dumping of household items on the floor by smaller litter bins continues elsewhere, along back streets (out of sight, out of mind) and it is not being cleared away every day. So a different policy applies / applied for main street cleanliness?
A lot of the stuff that is dumped is mainly domestic waste and smallish items that could go out for the weekly refuse collection from the doorstep, are people afraid of the weekly dust-bin-men refusing to take certain items and not at all unless they are inside a bin bag?
Plus if Kier were becoming proactive and charging for emptying bins / removing associated dumped material, every single day and charging a lot of extra money (as alleged) then clearly they are not doing this any longer, witness the overflowing bin(s), therefore either Kier are being difficult on purpose as their contract has been terminated mid-2019 or because the council is trying to curb excessive payments.
Did the Kier contract require daily emptying, plus allow extra for collecting dumped material and were they paid for emptying the bins, as and when needed, or say twice weekly?
It is difficult to get to the bottom of the matter and exactly why Kier are being kicked out all the contracts they operate in East Sussex.

I was told I should be reporting overfull litter bins online, but I see no point whatsoever in reporting online an overflowing street litter bin when it is the lack of capacity / frequency of emptying that is causing the issue.
The 'Santander' bin may well be the right size - a small bin for the narrow width of pavement there, but it is of inadequate capacity for purpose and the council say that they can afford no more and are having to keep on top of Kier now in order to have stuffed bins emptied daily now!

Bullshit Baffles Brains!

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seahermit
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Re: Queens Road re-visited

Postby seahermit » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:27 pm

I'm pretty sure I heard that in parts of Westminster borough the bins are emptied two or three times a day and I used to see dustcarts come round at all sorts of different times, day and evening.

Obvious enough in a congested area like Soho, but the point is that collections should be tailored to how busy a street is - clearly the arrangements in Hastings are not flexible enough, so the problem again boils down to poor management. It's no use the council saying that Hastings people behave differently - they don't, human nature being generally the same! If people are throwing away a lot of stuff, there need to be adequate collections (full stop).


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