I won’t separate my plastics, says defiant Colchester woman

Fay Cunningham

Fay Cunningham

First published in News

A WOMAN says she’ll stop separating her rubbish for recycling because binmen left her plastic items uncollected for five days.

Fay Cunningham and her neighbours in Capstan Place, Colchester, put out their black bags, as usual, along with clear sacks of plastic items, ahead of the regular collection on Wednesday last week.

The black bags were picked up, but the recycling was left out on the pavement.

Mrs Cunningham contacted Colchester Council and was told it would be collected on Thursday or Friday.

She sent a note to her neighbours telling them to put their recycling out again, but it was five days later when it was finally taken away.

She said: “All my rubbish will now go in a black bag every week. There’s no point in recycling if there’s not going to be a collection."

Mrs Cunningham said binmen visited three times last Wednesday – once to collect the black bags once, to get garden refuse and once to hand out rolls of bags for next year – but ignored the clear sacks each time.

The council said it was investigating the problem.

Comments (30)

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9:01pm Thu 26 Apr 12

angryman!!! says...

Simple solution for this is give households Weely bins. That way when the refuse collections don't happen (seems to be at least once a month, I had mine out for a full fortnight last month) this wouldn't be a problem. The bin bags alway get shredded and rubbish ends up all over the place, Colchester is filthy because of it.
Simple solution for this is give households Weely bins. That way when the refuse collections don't happen (seems to be at least once a month, I had mine out for a full fortnight last month) this wouldn't be a problem. The bin bags alway get shredded and rubbish ends up all over the place, Colchester is filthy because of it. angryman!!!
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Thu 26 Apr 12

newtactic says...

If a plastics collection or any other refuse collection is overlooked on one occasion, then surely the sensible thing to do is to put it away until the next collection is due. Isn't it a bit brattish to bung everything into black plastic sacks, just because one recycling collection has been missed?
If a plastics collection or any other refuse collection is overlooked on one occasion, then surely the sensible thing to do is to put it away until the next collection is due. Isn't it a bit brattish to bung everything into black plastic sacks, just because one recycling collection has been missed? newtactic
  • Score: 0

10:39pm Thu 26 Apr 12

Boris says...

angryman!!! wrote:
Simple solution for this is give households Weely bins. That way when the refuse collections don't happen (seems to be at least once a month, I had mine out for a full fortnight last month) this wouldn't be a problem. The bin bags alway get shredded and rubbish ends up all over the place, Colchester is filthy because of it.
Seems a childish reaction, just because a collection went wrong one week. Grow up, Mrs Cunningham.
Putting everything into black bags will cost her, because once she runs out she will have to buy new ones, while she can have extra transparent bags for free.
And the last thing we want in Colchester is big ugly unhygienic wheelie bins. The present system works fine most of the time. These would be expensive for the council to buy, and they would require new vehicles to load them into. CBC can't afford all that cost.
[quote][p][bold]angryman!!![/bold] wrote: Simple solution for this is give households Weely bins. That way when the refuse collections don't happen (seems to be at least once a month, I had mine out for a full fortnight last month) this wouldn't be a problem. The bin bags alway get shredded and rubbish ends up all over the place, Colchester is filthy because of it.[/p][/quote]Seems a childish reaction, just because a collection went wrong one week. Grow up, Mrs Cunningham. Putting everything into black bags will cost her, because once she runs out she will have to buy new ones, while she can have extra transparent bags for free. And the last thing we want in Colchester is big ugly unhygienic wheelie bins. The present system works fine most of the time. These would be expensive for the council to buy, and they would require new vehicles to load them into. CBC can't afford all that cost. Boris
  • Score: 0

11:28pm Thu 26 Apr 12

Feisty CBC says...

Boris is of course spot on. Every now and again for whatever reason there is going to be collection missed. Please keep recycling all that you can.
Boris is of course spot on. Every now and again for whatever reason there is going to be collection missed. Please keep recycling all that you can. Feisty CBC
  • Score: 0

1:11am Fri 27 Apr 12

PROOFREADER says...

I have had the same problem with garden rubbish and normal rubbish. Either they do not collect it at all or they only take one bag. I always put the bags in full view so they cannot say they did not see it. I do not put out more than two black bags and no more than the four bag limit for garden rubbish.
I have had the same problem with garden rubbish and normal rubbish. Either they do not collect it at all or they only take one bag. I always put the bags in full view so they cannot say they did not see it. I do not put out more than two black bags and no more than the four bag limit for garden rubbish. PROOFREADER
  • Score: 0

2:07am Fri 27 Apr 12

StopLookListen says...

Wheelie bins are no more unsightly than plastic bags, and of course being Boris, you will be fully up to scratch on how long the plastic bags take to degrade, leaving their residue for aeons.
.
Unhygienic? Well, we don't then have burst or split bags, or bags damaged by animals. Most of us clean the bins regularly, and this seems easy because they appear to have some sort of special finish to the interior. Around here, if they've just been emptied and it rains, we don't even need to put the tap on to rinse them! We just leave the lid open and let the rain in, then upend them to drain and dry. We can if we wish have a green lidded wheelie for garden waste, and an orange lidded bin for paper, plastic bottles and old clothing.
.
As the bins are now quite costly (though they last many years), they are desirable "knock-off", which in turn deters householders from leaving them at the kerbside and spoiling the view!
Wheelie bins are no more unsightly than plastic bags, and of course being Boris, you will be fully up to scratch on how long the plastic bags take to degrade, leaving their residue for aeons. . Unhygienic? Well, we don't then have burst or split bags, or bags damaged by animals. Most of us clean the bins regularly, and this seems easy because they appear to have some sort of special finish to the interior. Around here, if they've just been emptied and it rains, we don't even need to put the tap on to rinse them! We just leave the lid open and let the rain in, then upend them to drain and dry. We can if we wish have a green lidded wheelie for garden waste, and an orange lidded bin for paper, plastic bottles and old clothing. . As the bins are now quite costly (though they last many years), they are desirable "knock-off", which in turn deters householders from leaving them at the kerbside and spoiling the view! StopLookListen
  • Score: 0

2:10am Fri 27 Apr 12

StopLookListen says...

Oh, and a "p.s.", if items that are likely to be sticky or smelly are wrapped in old newspaper then the bin doesn't get very dirty in the first place.
Oh, and a "p.s.", if items that are likely to be sticky or smelly are wrapped in old newspaper then the bin doesn't get very dirty in the first place. StopLookListen
  • Score: 0

7:34am Fri 27 Apr 12

hughie-s says...

PROOFREADER wrote:
I have had the same problem with garden rubbish and normal rubbish. Either they do not collect it at all or they only take one bag. I always put the bags in full view so they cannot say they did not see it. I do not put out more than two black bags and no more than the four bag limit for garden rubbish.
"..no more than the four bag limit for garden rubbish."

Not publicised very well but they raised it to 8 bags between November and March
[quote][p][bold]PROOFREADER[/bold] wrote: I have had the same problem with garden rubbish and normal rubbish. Either they do not collect it at all or they only take one bag. I always put the bags in full view so they cannot say they did not see it. I do not put out more than two black bags and no more than the four bag limit for garden rubbish.[/p][/quote]"..no more than the four bag limit for garden rubbish." Not publicised very well but they raised it to 8 bags between November and March hughie-s
  • Score: 0

8:24am Fri 27 Apr 12

setbuilder says...

This woman's actions are a pathetic over-reaction. I'd imagine everyone, at some time, has had their rubbish overlooked, for some reason or other. It's certainly no reason to take the totally selfish reaction of using black bags for all rubbish.
Meanwhile I am amazed at how many people still manage to put out two (and more) black bags a week! I have four people in my household and I can't fill one black bag in a fortnight! It's because I recycle as thoroughly as I can. It costs nothing but a small amount of time and very little real effort.
Meanwhile, although I have foxes frequenting my road and a number of families with cats, the bags in my area are very rarely damaged - probably because my neighbours and I don't put our bags out the day before collection and then leave them for days if they aren't collected!
The refuse collectors do a brilliant job, on the whole, and should be congratulated for a dirty job well done!
This woman's actions are a pathetic over-reaction. I'd imagine everyone, at some time, has had their rubbish overlooked, for some reason or other. It's certainly no reason to take the totally selfish reaction of using black bags for all rubbish. Meanwhile I am amazed at how many people still manage to put out two (and more) black bags a week! I have four people in my household and I can't fill one black bag in a fortnight! It's because I recycle as thoroughly as I can. It costs nothing but a small amount of time and very little real effort. Meanwhile, although I have foxes frequenting my road and a number of families with cats, the bags in my area are very rarely damaged - probably because my neighbours and I don't put our bags out the day before collection and then leave them for days if they aren't collected! The refuse collectors do a brilliant job, on the whole, and should be congratulated for a dirty job well done! setbuilder
  • Score: 0

8:28am Fri 27 Apr 12

setbuilder says...

I've just noticed that one of the items in her bag is a hard plastic laundry basket. Is this the type of plastic that is re-cycled by our council? If it isn't then the bag is classed as 'contaminated' and possibly wouldn't be picked up anyway. If this is the case perhaps the woman should check what she should be putting in her bags.
I've just noticed that one of the items in her bag is a hard plastic laundry basket. Is this the type of plastic that is re-cycled by our council? If it isn't then the bag is classed as 'contaminated' and possibly wouldn't be picked up anyway. If this is the case perhaps the woman should check what she should be putting in her bags. setbuilder
  • Score: 0

9:36am Fri 27 Apr 12

CO6 resident says...

Wheelie bins are an eyesore. Many properties have no room for them and they would have to sit at the front. Liverpool is a perfect example, where the purpole monstrosities have spoilt them look of whole streets.
Wheelie bins are an eyesore. Many properties have no room for them and they would have to sit at the front. Liverpool is a perfect example, where the purpole monstrosities have spoilt them look of whole streets. CO6 resident
  • Score: 0

9:41am Fri 27 Apr 12

CO6 resident says...

Apologies, they're lilac...

http://www.flickr.co
m/photos/romeo66/229
1320949/
Apologies, they're lilac... http://www.flickr.co m/photos/romeo66/229 1320949/ CO6 resident
  • Score: 0

11:18am Fri 27 Apr 12

jut1972 says...

Think there is a typo in the headline. Defiant should be changed to childish
Think there is a typo in the headline. Defiant should be changed to childish jut1972
  • Score: 0

11:26am Fri 27 Apr 12

abbeyfield_observer_corps says...

the state of Colchester's streets and pavements are a hot topic with me, and may eventually be the reason i leave Colchester. If i'm not crunching through glass round the Abbeyfield then its dog poo. As for rubbish collection, our brave lads defied the ongoing drought yesterday to collect black bags and paper/card in clear sacks but didn't come for the tins/glass in the green boxes. They were collected this morning. As usual, the wind blew some into the road and up the street. With the problems already stated over foxes,cats and magpies attacking black bin bags, surely the onus is on the council to collect according to their own collection timetable. If they don't and a mess is created they should have a man with a van to clear up for us. the last thing we want is to come home from work to spillage from bin bags.
the state of Colchester's streets and pavements are a hot topic with me, and may eventually be the reason i leave Colchester. If i'm not crunching through glass round the Abbeyfield then its dog poo. As for rubbish collection, our brave lads defied the ongoing drought yesterday to collect black bags and paper/card in clear sacks but didn't come for the tins/glass in the green boxes. They were collected this morning. As usual, the wind blew some into the road and up the street. With the problems already stated over foxes,cats and magpies attacking black bin bags, surely the onus is on the council to collect according to their own collection timetable. If they don't and a mess is created they should have a man with a van to clear up for us. the last thing we want is to come home from work to spillage from bin bags. abbeyfield_observer_corps
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Fri 27 Apr 12

romantic says...

What an over-reaction! Refuse collection is run and done by human beings, the system doesn´t always work. Most of the time, it does. Where I live, I can honestly say I have no complaints about the service.

"Childish" has been mentioned by others, and that is what this is. Please don´t stop recycling. It may sometimes seem like just a symbolic action, but it keeps stuff out of landfill. The more people recycle, the more it has an effect.

setbuilder, agree with you fully. I´m in a household of 5 and we fill up one black bag a week. This is done by recycling, something which the kids have slowly but surely mastered. Also by composting any peelings, and by planning food shopping to reduce waste.

Yes, phone them up if there is a problem, but sticking everything into black bags doesn´t really help anybody.
What an over-reaction! Refuse collection is run and done by human beings, the system doesn´t always work. Most of the time, it does. Where I live, I can honestly say I have no complaints about the service. "Childish" has been mentioned by others, and that is what this is. Please don´t stop recycling. It may sometimes seem like just a symbolic action, but it keeps stuff out of landfill. The more people recycle, the more it has an effect. setbuilder, agree with you fully. I´m in a household of 5 and we fill up one black bag a week. This is done by recycling, something which the kids have slowly but surely mastered. Also by composting any peelings, and by planning food shopping to reduce waste. Yes, phone them up if there is a problem, but sticking everything into black bags doesn´t really help anybody. romantic
  • Score: 0

1:28pm Fri 27 Apr 12

crum says...

I find it difficult to understand how a grown woman can be so childish
I find it difficult to understand how a grown woman can be so childish crum
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Fri 27 Apr 12

JillRa says...

If this is a lead article, with a picture, it must be a slow news day!

One would think that Colchester were refusing to collect her plastic: She ought to move to Tendring where she actually may have something to complain about
If this is a lead article, with a picture, it must be a slow news day! One would think that Colchester were refusing to collect her plastic: She ought to move to Tendring where she actually may have something to complain about JillRa
  • Score: 0

7:41pm Fri 27 Apr 12

jut1972 says...

Our recycling wasn't collected today.*

I plan on dumping it on the steps of the town hall in a huge over reaction **

* true
** not true
Our recycling wasn't collected today.* I plan on dumping it on the steps of the town hall in a huge over reaction ** * true ** not true jut1972
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Fri 27 Apr 12

Yendor says says...

One word for this person .... SAD !!!
One word for this person .... SAD !!! Yendor says
  • Score: 0

8:29am Sat 28 Apr 12

ShallowRemarks says...

Not everyone is lucky enough to have space to save all this rubbish up to be hopefully collected, my cans and bottles weren't collected last week so in the black bags they will go I'm with you Mrs Cunningham.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have space to save all this rubbish up to be hopefully collected, my cans and bottles weren't collected last week so in the black bags they will go I'm with you Mrs Cunningham. ShallowRemarks
  • Score: 0

8:29pm Sat 28 Apr 12

obtuse says...

Mrs Cunningham, get a life and get over it and Gazette please try to find a newsworthy story somewhere!
Mrs Cunningham, get a life and get over it and Gazette please try to find a newsworthy story somewhere! obtuse
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Sat 28 Apr 12

Reginald47 says...

Agreed!
Agreed! Reginald47
  • Score: 0

11:48am Tue 1 May 12

Ritchie_Hicks says...

Wheelie bins?

OK if you have easy access to your garden or a front garden to store them, but in a town where may properties have no front gardens and shared access across the back of 3 other properties, wheelie bins are completely impractical and probably wouldn't even be used.
Wheelie bins? OK if you have easy access to your garden or a front garden to store them, but in a town where may properties have no front gardens and shared access across the back of 3 other properties, wheelie bins are completely impractical and probably wouldn't even be used. Ritchie_Hicks
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Tue 1 May 12

Noah4x4 says...

Having lived in many parts of the country, I just think we are priviledged to have a weekly collection of rubbish and a bi-weekly (alternate weeks) collection of plastics, glass, cardboard and garden waste (none of which are a health hazard, nor attract foxes and vermin if washed out). When I lived at various times in Sussex, Somerset, Beds and Bucks, I used to spend an hour every weekend queuing at the tip! Similarly, this is THE best train service to London (admittedly not perfect), and I have commuted from almost every point of the compass. Reading half of the Gazette content, I wonder if we are the country's best moaners? My seven years in Colchester have been the BEST ever for most things - and wonderful people too.
Having lived in many parts of the country, I just think we are priviledged to have a weekly collection of rubbish and a bi-weekly (alternate weeks) collection of plastics, glass, cardboard and garden waste (none of which are a health hazard, nor attract foxes and vermin if washed out). When I lived at various times in Sussex, Somerset, Beds and Bucks, I used to spend an hour every weekend queuing at the tip! Similarly, this is THE best train service to London (admittedly not perfect), and I have commuted from almost every point of the compass. Reading half of the Gazette content, I wonder if we are the country's best moaners? My seven years in Colchester have been the BEST ever for most things - and wonderful people too. Noah4x4
  • Score: 0

5:46pm Tue 1 May 12

shrubender1 says...

Well done Mrs Cunningham, we pay enough council tax, rarely get bags delivered, why recycle...
Well done Mrs Cunningham, we pay enough council tax, rarely get bags delivered, why recycle... shrubender1
  • Score: 0

6:54pm Tue 1 May 12

Yendor says says...

shrubender1 wrote:
Well done Mrs Cunningham, we pay enough council tax, rarely get bags delivered, why recycle...
To help the environment maybe ??
[quote][p][bold]shrubender1[/bold] wrote: Well done Mrs Cunningham, we pay enough council tax, rarely get bags delivered, why recycle...[/p][/quote]To help the environment maybe ?? Yendor says
  • Score: 0

9:02am Wed 2 May 12

TheCaptain says...

Noah4x4 wrote:
Having lived in many parts of the country, I just think we are priviledged to have a weekly collection of rubbish and a bi-weekly (alternate weeks) collection of plastics, glass, cardboard and garden waste (none of which are a health hazard, nor attract foxes and vermin if washed out). When I lived at various times in Sussex, Somerset, Beds and Bucks, I used to spend an hour every weekend queuing at the tip! Similarly, this is THE best train service to London (admittedly not perfect), and I have commuted from almost every point of the compass. Reading half of the Gazette content, I wonder if we are the country's best moaners? My seven years in Colchester have been the BEST ever for most things - and wonderful people too.
Great comments
[quote][p][bold]Noah4x4[/bold] wrote: Having lived in many parts of the country, I just think we are priviledged to have a weekly collection of rubbish and a bi-weekly (alternate weeks) collection of plastics, glass, cardboard and garden waste (none of which are a health hazard, nor attract foxes and vermin if washed out). When I lived at various times in Sussex, Somerset, Beds and Bucks, I used to spend an hour every weekend queuing at the tip! Similarly, this is THE best train service to London (admittedly not perfect), and I have commuted from almost every point of the compass. Reading half of the Gazette content, I wonder if we are the country's best moaners? My seven years in Colchester have been the BEST ever for most things - and wonderful people too.[/p][/quote]Great comments TheCaptain
  • Score: 0

1:46pm Wed 2 May 12

TheCaptain says...

shrubender1 wrote:
Well done Mrs Cunningham, we pay enough council tax, rarely get bags delivered, why recycle...
Most of which goes to essex for schools, social care and roads. Very little goes to Colchester and a small amount per household to refuse and recycling collection.
[quote][p][bold]shrubender1[/bold] wrote: Well done Mrs Cunningham, we pay enough council tax, rarely get bags delivered, why recycle...[/p][/quote]Most of which goes to essex for schools, social care and roads. Very little goes to Colchester and a small amount per household to refuse and recycling collection. TheCaptain
  • Score: 0

6:40pm Thu 3 May 12

icecoolmark says...

Steady, they will have us carting our rubbish to a skip along the road next to the standpipe soon!
Steady, they will have us carting our rubbish to a skip along the road next to the standpipe soon! icecoolmark
  • Score: 0

10:17am Wed 16 May 12

janetsjam says...

While walking the dog this morning, I couldn't miss the lack of green boxs and the rise in the ammount of black bags, well done tendring council you have just managed to double landfill in one hit, people would rather put it in black bags than have it messing the streets when the collections are left, and the food bins are only half emptied what va waste of time
yours dumbfounded
While walking the dog this morning, I couldn't miss the lack of green boxs and the rise in the ammount of black bags, well done tendring council you have just managed to double landfill in one hit, people would rather put it in black bags than have it messing the streets when the collections are left, and the food bins are only half emptied what va waste of time yours dumbfounded janetsjam
  • Score: 0

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