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Uttlesford District Council criticised by Stansted residents for not collecting Christmas waste

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Piles of mounting rubbish that lay around the streets of Stansted over Christmas must be avoided next time, a councillor has warned.

In some instances, households went without collections for almost a month and bins were overflowing in the street with general waste and recyclable materials.

The decision by Uttlesford District Council to close operations for the festive period meant the collection lorries were out of action for 10 days, from Saturday December 21 to New Year's Eve (Tuesday December 31).

Rubbish piled up at the back of Chapel Hill/Sunnyside (26041900)
Rubbish piled up at the back of Chapel Hill/Sunnyside (26041900)

The situation was compounded in Stansted when the smaller 'hard to reach' refuse vehicle broke down during the black bin collection week just before Christmas, although crews managed to return to collect the outstanding rubbish.

Collection days returned to normal only this week.

Stansted district and parish councillor Geoffrey Sell said that it was an unacceptable situation. “I will certainly be taking this up with the council," he said. "The refuse collection is probably the most visible of all the services we provide and normally we do quite a good job, but almost a month between collections is not good enough.”

Rubbish piled up on Cambridge Road (26041897)
Rubbish piled up on Cambridge Road (26041897)

UDC said that it did publicise the fact that there would be no collections during Christmas week.

A spokesman said: "A number of necessary changes were made to the schedule over the Christmas and New Year period, and we would like to thank residents for their co-operation and patience.

"Due to the way the public holidays fell and the limited opportunity for the refuse vehicles to tip the waste, as well as to avoid any complex catch-up arrangements, there were no bin collections made in the week of Christmas. This had the additional benefit of allowing our hard-working refuse staff to enjoy a well-earned break.

"The schedule that followed was altered to ensure there was no more than a three-week gap between either the recycling or the general waste collections. These arrangements were put in place well in advance and were publicised through the local press, the council’s social media channels and website, the parishes and in the Recycling at Home guide which was delivered to households in the district before Christmas."

He added: "Since then the refuse crews have worked hard to ensure collections are back on track. We would like to thank the crews for their efforts in clearing the additional waste."

This week saw the collection of recycling waste. Residents who had filled their recycling bins could place overflow waste alongside them.

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