READERS of The Star are divided over whether the introduction of fortnightly bin collections has been a success.
Almost 600 people responded to a poll on our website – www.thestar.co.uk – with 264 people, or 46 per cent, approving of the change and 311, or 54 per cent, saying it has made matters worse.
Since August, households have had fortnightly black bin rubbish collections, with recycling collections on the alternate weeks.
Sheffield Council made the change in a bid to save £2.4 million a year, as it has to implement huge spending cuts.
Opinion on the change is also divided among community groups.
Mark Wild, who works for Foxhill Forum, said: “I have been fine with the change and nobody coming to the forum has really said anything about it.”
But Tracy Higginbottom, chairman of the Beighton Villages Development Trust, said: “The change hasn’t worked.
“My daughter has noticed rats on a couple of occasions.
“Because we are dog minders, we produce more rubbish and have asked for a bigger bin – but the council has turned us down.
“We’ve been putting out extra bags with the black bin, but I’ve noticed rat holes bitten into them.
“We do our bit with recycling but not all rubbish can be put in the blue bin.”
Howard Fry, of Broomhill Forum, said: “In our area we are still assessing the impact.
“I haven’t had a problem, but the issue is how the houses of multiple occupancy and the students have managed.
“The BANG community group is collecting evidence at the moment.”
Paul Wood, of Handsworth, Sheffield district Labour Party chairman, said he believes there is a ‘vast and silent majority’ for whom the changes have not been a problem. He said: “I was concerned to start with but have found it really easy to cope.
“You just have to get into the mindset.”
However, Coun David Baker, Liberal Democrat recycling spokesman and member for Stannington, said: “We are hearing more and more stories of rubbish being dumped and abandoned, most recently at Rowell Lane, Loxley, this week.
“The decision to end weekly bin collections and cut recycling centre opening hours was always going to be a recipe for disaster.”
Coun Jack Scott, Labour cabinet member for environment and Streetscene, said: “This has been a huge change for Sheffield and it was never going to be easy.
“For me, my fianceé and our two small children, we have also had to make new arrangements, but I am pleased to see a large proportion of those polled by The Star think alternate weekly collection is working.”
What you’ve been saying online:
“We can’t manage with the bins being fortnightly. As a family of four after a couple of days our bins are full and we have to take our rubbish to the tip. Because we work, sometimes it is hard to take rubbish to the tip because of the opening hours, so we have to either ram our bins full, or put them outside and then the cats come and pull the bin bags apart.”
“Since the introduction of fortnightly bin collections, flytipping can be found on most open land in Darnall.”
“We are a family of four, two adults and two young kids, and the bin collections are working fine for us now that they have managed to tell us when they were collecting the bins.”
“Where I live, fortnightly collections have been the norm for quite some time now and I believe few problems have occurred. I am nearly 80 now and can cope with the system as do most of my elderly neighbours. I’m all for the system if it helps keep down my council tax, but am not keen on a private concern making money out of it.”
“It sounds like Sheffield is going back to the dark ages. I live in Brazil and our rubbish is taken away three times each week.”
“We occasionally struggle to fit all our rubbish into the black bin. In addition, on two occasions it has not been collected on the allocated day. We have had to ring up to complain and on each occasion the bin was emptied the following day. Not impressed with fortnightly.”