Residents slam Fratton rubbish scheme as ‘more rubbish’ lines streets than before

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ROTTEN food, dirty nappies, empty beer cans and broken glass.

These are just a few of the unsavoury items Fratton residents say have littered their streets since the start of a new rubbish collection scheme.

Rubbish left outside Fratton Community Centre

Rubbish left outside Fratton Community Centre

While the council hoped the 10-week initiative would lead to a widespread increase in recycling, many say it has instead made streets filthier than ever.

In taking a stroll along Newcome Road, one of the area’s longest, the project’s fallout is plain to see.

No less than 24 hours after refuse collectors would have descended upon the street for their weekly round, many items of rubbish still remain – left behind for the next seven days.

Most common is the sight of the black, seagull-proof sacks deployed to local people by Portsmouth City Council.

Black council-provided canvas sacks along Newcome Road

Black council-provided canvas sacks along Newcome Road

Each sack can hold three bin bags – the exact number residents are now permitted to throw out each week.

But when this quota is exceeded, knowingly or otherwise, remaining bags of litter become obstructive eyesores until the next collection comes around.

Leslie Stephens, 67 of Newcome Road, knows this only too well.

He said: ‘Over by the phone box [by the turn-off for Guildford Road] there are always black bags.

Rubbish outside a home in Ethel Road

Rubbish outside a home in Ethel Road

‘The other day there was a shed that was dumped over there too.

‘The black canvas bags seem to be a waste of time and they’re awful when it’s raining – not nice to drag through your house. ’

His opinion was echoed by Tina Tyrrell who lives on Guildford Road, where residents are being asked to leave out council-provided strengthened bin bags.

She said: ‘Due to these lovely sacks we have, I’m finding as I walk my dogs we’re having to try and manoeuvre around them.

Tina Tyrrell

Tina Tyrrell

‘They are not weighted down and on a very windy day, you’ll find you are driving over them all through the streets.

‘Dogs are urinating on them, cats are doing their business on them – I would not like to have to carry those through my house.

‘There’s more rubbish in the street now than there was before them.’

However off Trafalgar Place is Fratton Community Centre, arguably one of the locations worst affected by the scheme.

As well as stray rubbish, broken glass now lines the pavement opposite the site – which is regularly used by children and young families.

Manager of the centre, Julie Crook, said: ‘We have bottle banks outside but they’re being used more regularly as a dumping ground for rubbish that hasn’t been collected.’

Kay Ackerman

Kay Ackerman

Her colleague Kay Ackerman, chair of Fratton Community Centre, added: ‘We have voluntarily handed out the new bags to local people for the council.

‘It has been an awful lot of work for our staff but the council has not come back and said ‘we appreciate all your help here’.

‘And they’re not doing anything to respond to complaints we have received from people about all the rubbish.

‘It is always our area that gets picked on – someone at the council really seems to have a down on Fratton.’

Responding to the criticism the scheme has so far received, cllr Rob New, cabinet member for environment and community safety, said: ‘The data we’ve gathered from the Fratton waste trial to date suggests that it is really having an impact.

‘The volume of waste collected across the trial area has fallen by 21% to date and the recycling rate for the area has risen by over 50% when compared to last year, and 27% since the trial began.

‘Figures taken from the refuse rounds have shown that over 95% of all residents are keeping to the trial guidelines.

‘Embedding this kind of change takes time, so we’d ask all residents to continue to take an active part in the trial.

‘If you have issues with waste being left in your street or have any questions about the trial, contact the recycling and refuse team by emailing or calling 023 9284 1105.

‘We want to find a long-term solution to waste and recycling, but it’s also important to us to find a solution that works for the majority of our residents.

‘To help make sure we design a sustainable approach, I would urge all residents to complete the survey. You can complete the survey online at Residents can also request a paper copy by emailing or calling 023 9284 1105.’