Why communal bins?

Photo:Binvelopes are not always appropriately used

Binvelopes are not always appropriately used

Photo by Peter Crowhurst

The rationale

By Lynne Arnold, NLCA joint secretary

At the October 2008 NLCA meeting Gillian Marston, Assistant Director of Cityclean and Cityparks and a North Laine resident, spoke about the planned changes to refuse and recycling as it affects the North Laine.

Changes to refuse collection 

The Council has been investing heavily in improving refuse collection and processing across the city.  It has just completed work on a waste processing facility at Hollingdean.  The accessibility of the site will save a lot of time and will enable efficiencies to be made in route design.  The effect for the North Laine is that the collection day is now Tuesday [2008].

Recent consultation

Earlier in 2008, the Council held a consultation on the introduction of communal bins in central parts of the city.  After analysis a Cabinet decision was made in September to extend the communal bin scheme to many central areas, including the North Laine.  The scheme will begin to be rolled out from June 2009.

Reservations expressed

At the NLCA meeting a number of residents expressed reservations about this decision and the proposed implementation plan.  It is true that these large (3,200 litre) bins are not attractive but it can be argued that the current sight of collapsing binvelopes, split black bags and loose rubbish on the streets, with the resulting seagulls, are an equally unattractive part of living in the North Laine.

Placement of the bins

However, to minimize the impact on the look of the area, careful consideration of the placement of these bins has been made.  The guidelines for the placement of bins are that they should not be placed outside private residences or obstruct doors, windows or sightlines but, given the nature of the North Laine, this has not always been possible.  If you would like to see a copy of the plan it is on the Council website.  If you have questions or objections about the placement, please contact CityClean (tel: 292929, email: cityclean@brighton-hove.gov.uk)as there is scope for some reconsideration.

Binvelopes not always used appropriately

Although the binvelope scheme has been effective in reducing seagull attacks on rubbish bags, it has not always been appropriately and consistently used by residents and does not meet the needs of flats and bedsits, which have no storage.

Regular emptying planned

The communal bins will be emptied at least three times a week, including at weekends and during bank holiday weeks, depending on need, which will reduce the possibility of smelling and overflowing.  Experience has shown that flytipping should not be a problem.  The bins will be operated via a foot pedal and those that need assistance will be offered this in the run-up to implementation.

What about recycling?

The kerbside recycling scheme will be unaffected by the introduction of communal bins and will remain to collect:

  • Paper and cardboard
  • Glass and cans
  • Plastic bottles and household batteries. 

It was disappointing to hear that, although we have a weekly recycling collection in the central city, it is still poorly used.

However, once the recycling facility at Hollingdean is up and running (around February 2009), recycling collection days will also be changing. This will take place early in 2009 and we will be telling everyone affected by the changes when they happen via this website.

More information

If anyone needs more information, the Brighton & Hove City Council website has a lot more detailed information.

[Previously published in the 'North Laine Runner', No 195, November-December 2008]

This page was added on 03/12/2008.

The first communal bins arrive in Kemp Street! One is positioned differently from the one that was indicated on the "official map" (the position was nearer the corner of Trafalgar Street) and is right in front of our dining room window! It totally blocks our view and limits light entering our front room. It is not pleasant eating a romantic evening meal watching people throw their food waste and whatever else into the bin in full view of our table in our small lounge.

This situation also applies to another house in this road.

This is the wrong position for the following reasons:

• Blocks light and view - "filling the window" of a residential property.
• Loss of privacy to local residents.
• Limits access to a designated disabled parking bay

Conservation area:

• North Laine is a conservation area: Strict and costly rules apply to house colours, decoration, and for replacing window and doors. No extra "furniture" such as satellite dishes are allowed on the front of the houses!

• This bin hardly fits the description of conservation in any form. How does it fit into "Victorian" street furniture?   It is not only big and black but is placed next to an ornamental street lamp so it remains conspicuous and brightly lit at all times! How did this get approved in the first place?

Alternative easy solutions?

• There is a perfectly good alternative site about 20 yards away in Trafalgar Street where it would fit adjacent to a green telephone control box and not block light or obstruct the view of any adjoining houses. It would also be easy to service and empty from that position. This site would also not block a parking bay, thus releasing an additional parking space when moved.

• If it has to be adjacent to a house front they could at least have moved it so it is between two houses and not blocking any windows.

This bin is misplaced. It seems little thought, imagination, or empathy was applied positioning this in such an area where houses open right on to the pavement in front of it. The position of the specific bin mentioned here is not as indicated on the map, so little accuracy was taken in this either!

On a personal level and Council Notification:

I purchased this house a few years back when this was a charming area to live and a great community. I still am an owner occupier and I work from home from time to time. I purchased the house because of its position and its views. When we saw the bin in front of our window my wife's first reaction was to phone the council to check if this was a permanent position for the box and can it be moved.
Phone call ... no answer after calls ringing for half an hour at a time. So we used email... automated email response "Emails can take up to 15 days for a response". Oh how accessible, understanding, empathetic and helpful our council are!

Any further thoughts?

By Brian Ablett
On 03/07/2009

We are in the unfortunate position of having a communal bin placed in front of our house by a neighbour who did not like it in front of her shop! We have been phoning the council for 3 weeks to get the situation resolved and whilst the staff are always polite it seems they are unable to act in an efficient and effective manner. In addition, people are dumping their rubbish by the side of the bin when it is full, despite there being another bin approximately 50 metres away in Queens Gardens which is not full. As a result, the pavement outside our house is strewn with other people's litter this evening, and several enthusiastic seagulls. An invitation to rats if ever there was one, and my house is becoming an unpleasant place to live!

By Natasha Young
On 28/07/2009

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