Piles of rubbish left on Sheffield estate for two months as removal is delayed by missing key

Piles of rubbish removed from woodland by litter picking volunteers have been left for nine weeks as the council are unable to collect it due to a missing key.
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Sheffield litter pickers have been clearing rubbish from Rollestone Wood in the Gleadless Valley for three years now, and usually the bags are cleared away by Sheffield City Council’s Estates and Parks teams straight away.

However, a significant pile ammassed during a litter pick in the area nine weeks ago remains by the side of an access road off Overend Way, down the embankment from Ironside Road flats.

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The volunteers say this is because of a gate on Overend Way that needs to be opened for the trucks required to pick the litter up to be able to get to it. The gate is there to block entrance to a Northern Powergrid substation.

Piles of rubbish have been dumped off Ironside Road. Picture Scott MerryleesPiles of rubbish have been dumped off Ironside Road. Picture Scott Merrylees
Piles of rubbish have been dumped off Ironside Road. Picture Scott Merrylees

Northern Powergrid has the key but has not yet provided it. They allegedly told the volunteers that the person who has it is on leave.

Iren Wadsworth, who runs litter picks in her local neighbourhood of Gleadless, explained: "These bags below the maisonettes on Ironside Road are not one minute from the Blackstock Road tip.

“They have not been cleared yet as SCC's Estates Team have to get access to them via a locked gate at the bottom of a roadway a couple of hundred yards from where we have piled up the stuff for collection by an electricity substation at the woodland edge.

Litter pickers in Gleadless Valley earlier this month.Litter pickers in Gleadless Valley earlier this month.
Litter pickers in Gleadless Valley earlier this month.
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“It is taking some time to get a key to that gate. The Estates and Parks teams are doing their best to get a key for the gate from the company that runs the electricity substation where we have left the bags for collection.”

Ms Wadsworth stressed that the council are usually very quick to pick up the rubbish after their picks, and that bags from a litter pick by Blackstock Road two weeks ago were picked up the next morning.

She described this issue as a ‘blip’ that occurred because the lock on the gate was changed by the electricity company, and the council were not given keys to the new one.

“The Estates and Parks teams are brilliant and clear away after us in no time at all and if they spot us picking they clear our bags as we go,” she added.

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"Some times they are so fast we can’t even get a photo of the piles of rubbish.

“We clear hundreds of bags of litter and mounds of fly-tipping each and every month in Gleadless Valley and have done for three years now.

“Lots of locals know us well and can recognise when the piles of stuff they see are a result of our litter picks as we take a lot of effort clearing and dragging stuff out of the woods up to the nearest roadway for collection. It is some challenge!”

Residents in the area were frustrated with how long it was taking to clear the rubbish away, but acknowledged that it was not the fault of the council.

Sheffield City Council confirmed they are chasing up the key and will clear the rubbish as soon as possible.

Northern Powergrid have been contacted for comment.