Northampton residents left with litter problem as council removes only bin

Overflowing bin on Palmerston Road, Northampton town centre NNL-140810-175235001
Overflowing bin on Palmerston Road, Northampton town centre NNL-140810-175235001

A residents’ association that complained to Northampton Borough Council about excess litter and fly-tipping has been left puzzled after the local authority removed the only bin on their road.

The bin was installed at a junction with St Edmund’s Road, in the town centre, in the spring because residents were frustrated by rubbish dropped in the streets.

People did start to use the bin and it was regularly full but, because flytippers also started to use the immediate area as a dumping spot, the council removed it again in August.

Chair of the St Edmund’s group, Anne Wishart, said having no bin at all was not the solution: “We campaigned long and hard to have the bin put in as there were none on St Edmunds Road and this was causing a big rubbish problem.

“The bin was used but it quickly started to overflow and I saw it being removed only a couple of months later. I asked the warden on duty and he said it was because the rubbish had been attracting street drinkers.

“But I don’t think that is fair as those people can hardly be blamed for fly-tipping mattresses, fridges and ironing-boards.

“St Edmund’s Road leads right into the town centre and so street drinking is a problem and does cause rubbish, but many of the street drinkers I have spoken to are lovely and they are capable of using bins.”

The bin in question was installed on the corner of Stockley Street and St Edmund’s Road in the spring and was removed in August. Minutes from a St Edmund’s Residents’ Association meeting stressed that the issue “must” be addressed by the borough council.

Mrs Wishart said: “Blaming street drinkers is just an excuse for not having strategic bins, because there aren’t even any dog mess bins either.

“Members of the association have been around the street picking up rubbish and we shouldn’t have to do that. The council have a responsibility to encourage people to do the right thing and help put a stop to fly-tipping.”

The council’s cabinet member for environment, Mike Hallam, said: “We take a zero tolerance approach to fly-tipping in Northampton and will take legal action against anyone we catch.

“Earlier this year we identified an area on St Edmunds Road where people felt it was fine to dump their unwanted items as the taxpayer would pick up the bill. We have taken action to make it clear this is not acceptable and not encouraged. This irresponsible behaviour brings down the neighbourhood makes the area look untidy and uncared for.

“If you have unwanted items, book a bulky waste collection or take them to the tip. It is not fair on local people to have to walk past your waste and rubbish.”