Cottingley residents vented their frustrations about the long running poor refuse collection service on the estate at a recent meeting of the Inner South Community Committee.
Using the Open Forum section of the meeting, Christine Smart asked the Councillors:
“This week the binmen told our residents that they were not collecting bags. That causes an issue because some of the estate are on bag collections only due to the steps, so they can’t have a wheelie bin.
“The issues with the bins, as Cllr Almass I’m sure will back me up, has been ongoing since before the pandemic and they don’t seem to be getting any better. Our Councillors do speak to managers and come back and tell us the reasons why the problems are there, but there is never any solution to actually fix the issues.
“It makes the estate look scruffy. I feel the residents then get blamed for fly-tipping when it’s not always us that do it. It affects everybody’s mood and how people see us. I’d like Refuse to come to a TRAC (residents association) meeting, we invite them constantly but they never turn up.”
The Cottingley Hall estate was designed to segregate cars and other traffic from pedestrians. This means many properties are some distance from a road and being built on a hill, many pathways involve steps.
Cllr Andrew Scopes (Labour, Beeston & Holbeck) told the meeting that he had been trying to resolve the issues for years, even joining a bin round in 2019 to see the issues for himself. He reported that he had met with a senior officer on site and discussed where more properties could be given a wheelie bin and creating a list of all the properties on bag collection for the crews to use. However there doesn’t seem to have been any progress on the issue.
The problems are so intrenched that TRAC have a delegated member who collected details of all the missed collection each week to report back to the Council.
“I do accept that the estate’s layout is very complicated, but it’s existed for fifty years and there hasn’t always been an issue with bin collections. It seems to be a new problem, it didn’t seem to be a problem six or seven years ago, so I think there’s been some serious breakdown in communication or instructions somewhere that the residents just don’t understand. And in the meantime we have rats and rodents running round, the estate looks bad, people treat the estate badly.
“It seems Refuse constantly have excuses to not collect our rubbish rather than offering any solutions. We want a solution because it’s an issue that doesn’t need to be there.”
In a written comment to South Leeds Life, Cllr Scopes said:
“My Colleagues, Annie Maloney and Gohar Almass, and I are deeply frustrated with the number of missed bins on Cottingley which needs to get better! We’ve asked the Executive member and Chief Officer for Refuse Collection to come to our next Inner South Community Committee to set out plans to improve the service.
“We have met with senior officers and walked around some of the challenging areas and so do understand that Cottingley bin collections can be difficult to navigate, but strongly believe that with the right processes in place the collections for Cottingley can, and must be, improved for residents.”
Leeds City Council have been approached for a comment on the situation.
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