Hundreds of warning stickers and tags issued in Cheltenham to rubbish collection rule breakers
WARNING stickers and tags have been appearing on the bins of rule-breakers.
A pilot scheme, which targets home-owners who leave their green wheelie bins overflowing and bags of rubbish on the street, has been running for six months.
The results paint a picture of a town struggling to get to grips with reduced rubbish collections.
Current rules mean wheelie bins have to have lids shut when they are put out for collection and no additional bags of rubbish are allowed.
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Break the rules and you get a sticker telling you so.
Keep doing it and you get a tag and none of your rubbish taken away. Then comes the 'formal letter' and possible enforcement.
Bin collectors have been busy ever since the scheme started last year, issuing 1,257 warning stickers in St Paul's, 656 in Up Hatherley and Warden Hill and another 344 in Leckhampton.
Meanwhile, Up Hatherley and Warden Hill residents were the worst in terms of taking any notice of the stickers, with 416 more serious tags handed out.
Sixty one were given out in Leckhampton and 173 in St Paul's.
It seems the combined message of the stickers and tags has been having the desired effect in many places, however, with only seven letters being sent out in Up Hatherley and four in Leckhampton.
But 41 letters were sent out in St Paul's.
Councillor Roger Whyborn (LD, Up Hatherley), cabinet member for sustainability, said: "There is a staged process with residents getting warning stickers before we start to tag bins.
"Where tags are issued we do try to contact residents but we cannot always make contact.
"If the resident continues to present side waste or has a bin lid open then we will send a formal warning letter.
"We have had to issue very few formal letters and to date we have not had to undertake formal enforcement action."
Safety reasons have been cited by the council as to why overflowing bins cannot be emptied.
Bin men are not allowed to put their hands into bins to squash rubbish because of the risk of sharp objects.
Bins with lids open also pose a risk to operators because open lids make it difficult to safely attach the bin to lorries' lifting mechanisms.