Notes from a walk with BANES officials looking at issues arising from proposed changes to domestic waste collection in the city centre

The walk highlighted the following:

The majority of city centre properties are divided into flats which do not have external storage, and very limited little internal storage. That any communal hallways must be kept clear due to fire safety. This limited storage capacity means fortnightly collection is not viable and indeed weekly collection may not be adequate.

City centre properties co-exist alongside businesses and tourist attractions. These streets are different to other areas of BANES and therefore need a different strategy.

That many properties are using gull sacks and other recycling boxes as permanent external “refuse bins”. Thus they are becoming permanent street furniture on Bath’s heritage streets.

Additional refuse is often left by the side of full, overflowing, soiled, filthy sacks. Many of the current Gull sacks are not taken back inside properties because passers by have filled them with organic matter, often fast food, which makes them unhygienic and unsanitary.

Discussion showed that there is no clear BANEs view of whether the priority is the recycling targets or clean vermin free streets.

The trials conducted with gull proof bags in the city have demonstrated that the system does not work well. Our visit to the BNES “flagship” pilot street – New King street showed the pilot to be an unmitigated disaster despite the resources that have been devoted to making it a “proof of concept”.

We have be led to understand that the new proposals mean that rubbish left outside properties in containers other than gull proof bags or recycling boxes will not be collected by the waste collection contractors. We are unclear what happens to waste, which may have nothing to do with the occupants of the property involved, that isn’t placed in a gull sack. Does it just get left indefinitely?