doc

DISGUSTED residents in part of central Swindon had to endure a week with their street covered in rotting Christmas leftovers and other household waste, after their refuse collection was set back by a week.

Residents in Albion Street do not have front gardens so they put out household waste in blue bags, which are normally collected every Wednesday.

However, as last Wednesday was Boxing Day, no collection took place, with a double collection scheduled for yesterday.

But some householders claimed they did not know about the change and many decided on Boxing Day to leave out their blue bags, which during the course of the week were ripped open by vermin, cats and birds and their contents spread around the streets.

Gaute Lindkvist, 34, who has lived in Albion Street since 2006, said Swindon Council should have laid on a special collection of blue bags during that week as it did for households in areas with wheelie bin collections affected by the bank holidays, or at least posted leafletsto warn people not to put out sacks for another week.

He said: “Our collection was on Boxing Day, which understandably, perhaps, was not a collection day because it’s a bank holiday.

“I just noticed that everyone had put out their rubbish, and almost nobody seemed to know there was no collection that day.

“But I have just had a look at the council website and noticed that the blue bag collections are the only ones they haven’t arranged any extra collections for.

“No notification has been given, so the street is just filled up with blue bags and most of them have been torn and got into by vermin.

“We aren’t very happy about this. It should be pretty obvious to anyone that blue bags are particularly susceptible to vermin.”

Mr Lindkvist, a father-of-one, said the bags could not be taken back inside as they were split, and they were also causing an obstruction.

“It’s absolutely gross,” he said.

“There are turkey carcasses there on the street. There are half-eaten bits of food and it’s revolting to be walking down the street.

“It’s also impossible to walk down with a pram on one side because it’s simply full with too many plastic bags. I struggle to see how anyone who’s disabled can get through.”

A council spokesman said: “We did send out information to the local media publicising that there would be no waste collections, including blue bags, on Christmas Day or Boxing Day this year.

“Information was also available on our website, while a short film was produced to highlight changes to collections and featuring advice on recycling.

“We also publicised the changes via social media.

“As in past years, any residents who were due to have their blue bag waste collected on Christmas Day or Boxing Day will have a double collection this week.

“Residents who need to dispose of any waste in the meantime can take it to the Household Waste Recycling Centre in Cheney Manor industrial estate between 8am and 4.30pm.”