Dear Sue Lent,
I am a local resident in Cardiff, under the purview of your council appointment, and I am writing with regard to the persistent problem of litter around my area. I moved to Cardiff approximately a year ago, and have noticed that there seems to be a real issue with both the provision of bin collections, and keeping the streets clean. It seems to be particularly notable throughout residential areas.
I understand that there are initiatives such as Keep Wales Tidy, where volunteers do litter picks, and this is of course extremely appreciated. However, there seems to be a problem with many people feeling that their bins are not collected reliably or frequently enough, and with the bin collections being extremely messy in and of themselves. For instance, I frequently have to go and retrieve my building’s bins from further down the street, or from outside my neighbours’ houses after they have been emptied. While this is not a great bother to me, it might be to someone elderly or with access needs. It also makes the street look extremely untidy as the bins are strewn everywhere. The frequency of the bin collections is also an issue, as many people’s bins get extremely full, making them more liable to both tip over and attract flies during the summer weather.
This issue seems to mainly be with recycling collections and in particular food waste. These collections appear to be either not frequent enough, or messily executed. I have walked around residential parts of the city many times to find food waste spilling onto the road, and recycling blowing in the breeze. I understand the problems of not having enough council funding, but I’m not sure why this results in the bins being so messily dealt with when they are collected.
Added to this, there is an issue with fly-tipping around the city’s residential areas, and this has only been increasing in the last six months. I have had a mattress dumped outside my house, along with an old rug, and I regularly find rubbish bags added to our bins that are definitely not ours. This of course adds to the amount of rubbish accumulating in the bins before collection time. There are also particular alleyways and corners where fly-tipping occurs regularly with larger-scale items like furniture. I am presuming that as these places seem to be well established, they must also be known to the council. It’s not possible for volunteers such as those with Keep Wales Tidy to dispose of such large items. So, is there some sort of team or system within the local council for seeing to this? And if so, is there a reporting tool whereby residents can notify you of such an issue in their area? I am quite happy to take proactive action, but am rather unclear on how to do so.
It seems a shame to allow this to persist when the residential areas of Cardiff have such lovely architecture, streets, and mixes of buildings, local businesses and community centres. I would really like to hear back from you regarding how the councillors across Cardiff, intend to address this issue, and how residents can get involved beyond litter picking.