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Opposition grows in Rushmoor to cuts in refuse collection

Keith Parkins | 27.02.2007 17:57 | Health | Repression | Social Struggles

The first month of a six-month trial of fortnightly refuse collection in the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor has led to public outcry, with bin men calling for the 'experiment' to be scrapped.

'It should be stopped right away as it's clear it's not being supported by those involved. It gives us extra work as the amount of rubbish we're collecting from these homes is doubled. I know there are lots of larger families who cannot cope with it.' -- bin man, Rotten Borough of Rushmoor

'I urge residents involved in the trial to contact their councillors about this as they are having unfair pressure put on them.' -- Councillor David Clifford, Rotten Borough of Rushmoor

'The whole thing is going to blow up in their faces. It's in turmoil. I have residents coming to me wanting to know who's responsible for implementing it.' -- Councillor Peter Sandy, Rotten Borough of Rushmoor

'I'm quite pleased with how the trial is going at the moment and we have not had any significant hiccups.' -- Councillor Roland Dibbs, rubbish portfolio, Rotten Borough of Rushmoor

Introduction of fortnightly refuse collection on a so-called six-month trial basis in the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor, has after the first month, been hailed an unmitigated disaster by bin men, local residents, and the two honourable councillors, David Clifford and Peter Sandy, who are prepared to speak out on behalf of local residents and be counted.

David Clifford, who represents Farnborough, has described the cuts in service as 'rubbish'. He questions why the right-wing Tory-controlled council is doing neo-Labour's bidding.

Bin men who have to collect two-week-old decaying rubbish, have described fortnightly collection as 'disgusting'. The bin men have had to endure the wrath of extremely angry local residents who have been forced to participate in the six month so-called trial, including being pelted with rubbish.

Bins are overflowing, rubbish is strewn across the streets.

The bin men would be even more concerned if they were aware of research carried out in Norway and Sweden in 2003, which showed bin men were suffering inflammation of the respiratory tract from breathing in bioaerosols from two-week-old decaying putrescent waste. The Scandinavian researchers were of the view it would lead to longterm health problems.

One bin man, who does not wish to be named, has called for the experiment to be scrapped and a return to weekly collection throughout the borough.

David Clifford says he is not surprised that the bin men are against. He has spoken to people in neighbouring local authorities, and they are against. So far he has found only two people in favour.

He has done well, I have yet to find anyone in favour.

David Clifford says those who should be targeted are the supermarkets and others who produce the waste, not 'helpless' consumers, and questioned the council's agenda which is cutting costs, not reducing waste, improving the abysmal performance on recycling.

Peter Sandy, who represents Aldershot, who has been leafleting Aldershot and now intends to leaflet Farnborough, has had hundreds of replies every week, all expressing strong opposition. He has yet to meet a single person on the street who is in favour.

The only person it seems, apart from councillors and their officials, who has voiced support for the cut in service, is Rick Kimber, mouthpiece for BVFoE, a dysfunctional local FoE group that gives all environmentalists a bad name.

Rick Kimber seems incapable of grasping that cutting refuse collection services and recycling are two separate issues. Had he bothered to acquaint himself with the facts, taken the trouble to read the council's internal paperwork, he would have learnt that the entire thrust of the exercise was to cut services. He does not seem to understand that recycling is about working with local residents, encouraging them to put the right rubbish in the right bins.

But then his ignorance on the subject is understandable as he does not live in the affected borough!

People are beginning to question what is Roland Dibbs on (the councillor responsible) as he seems to be on another planet. In the face of widespread public opposition and anger he claims the cut in service has public support, that there are no problems.

He claims there are no health problems.

Only an increase in rats, bad smells, flies, maggots, fly-tipping, back yard burning of waste, chronic longterm respiratory problems for bin men.

The World Health Organisation has recommended that in a temperate climate like England, and it is getting warmer, refuse should be collected at least weekly.

A pest control organisation has reported a 69% increase in rat infestation, which they put down to fast food takeaways and fortnightly refuse collections.

In a report to ministers January last year, Defra scientists warned of health problems, that it will lead to 'disease transmission in the home environment':

'There are significant gaps in knowledge to fully understand the implications of changes to collection routines. Providing alternate weekly collection to facilitate recycling schemes could result in accumulation of waste at households.'

'This could encourage vermin and insects into the home environment, which could potentially increase disease transmission routes.'

The report entitled 'Potential health risks to humans from birds, mammals and insects associated with UK waste management operations', recommends research in specified 'key areas'.

Dibbs in his arrogance and ignorance obviously knows best.

Dibbs claims a cut in service in the other councils in Hampshire has been a success. A success for who, the councils or the public?

This is not the view of residents in Eastleigh, the first in Hampshire to cut services. It is not the view in Alton or Bentley where there are problems of fly-tipping, maggots, flies, smells and back garden burning of rubbish, including plastics. It was not the view in Southampton, where having cut the service to fortnightly, the council was forced to revert back to weekly. Nor the view in Basingstoke, where the council was forced to capitulate before the cuts were introduced.

Dibbs claims there are savings on fuel costs.

The council has been encouraging people to put green waste out to be collected, not composted in the back garden. Instead of green waste being composted in the back garden, it is carted from Aldershot and Farnborough halfway across Hampshire to be composted in Basingstoke.

Then there will be the convoy of cars heading to the council rubbish tip causing further traffic congestion.

As usual, Dibbs is talking rubbish.

At a meeting of Council last week, Peter Sandy tried to ask questions of Dibbs. He was not allowed to ask his questions.

Welcome to the Stalinist state of the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor, where not only are the peasants not allowed a voice, but neither it seems are their legitimate dully elected representatives.

Par for the course, Dibbs has tried to gag bin men to stop then speaking out to the media.

At least Roland Dibbs has the appropriate portfolio in Rushmoor, ie rubbish, as all he does is spout rubbish.



Steve Doughty, Health alert that went unheeded over cuts in bin rounds, Daily Mail, 26 February 2007

Marcus Mabberley, Councillors and dustman trash the trial, Aldershot News, 27 February 2007

Keith Parkins, Natural Capitalism,, October 2000

Keith Parkins, A sense of the masses - a manifesto for the new revolution,, October 2003

Keith Parkins, Curitiba – Designing a sustainable city,, April 2006

Keith Parkins, Recycling – a tale of two councils, Indymedia UK, 5 January 2007

Keith Parkins, Fortnightly rubbish collection creating a plague of rats, Indymedia UK, 8 January 2007

Keith Parkins, Recycling – the good, the bad and the ugly, Indymedia UK, 7 February 2007

Keith Parkins, Recycling in the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor goes from bad to worse, Indymedia UK, 9 February 2007

Keith Parkins, Green waste recycling, Indymedia UK, 12 February 2007

Keith Parkins, Recycling and waste reduction being used as an excuse to cut services, Indymedia UK, 19 February 2007

Keith Parkins, Axe the Bin Tax, Indymedia UK, 23 February 2007

Rebecca Connop Price, Bin trial gripes will get airing, Surrey-Hants Star, 22 February 2007

Recycling 'risks binmen's lungs', BBC News on-line, 29 March 2003

Keith Parkins
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Display the following 5 comments

  1. Ignore the propaganda — A N Other
  2. Nonsense — Keith
  3. Waiting for Sandy..... — Gripe watcher
  4. Rotten Borough of Oxford City — Eric Murray
  5. Petition to Blair Now Approved - Ready for your Vote — Eric Murray