The Bins Revisited

Just who is responsible for the commercial waste bins which you will see all over Truro. Is it the Council? Or is it Biffa? Or is it the shops who are taking advantage of this service? Well, it doesn’t seem to be Cornwall Council or CORMAC In answer to a recent complaint that the bins were blocking St. Mary’s St. and that rats had been seen running around, the council replied as follows.

Given there is no Cornwall Council policy on such matters and the environmental legislative requirement for businesses to responsibly dispose of their waste, generally the Council adopt a reasonable approach in respect of commercial waste bins sensibly located within the highway; this is provided there are no suitable facilities to place bins within private property off highway. Enforcement is limited to items that actually (and consistently) obstruct a reasonable footway width.  

I would advise the location is routinely inspected and in the majority of cases the bins don’t actually block or obstruct free passage in St Mary’s Street, therefore generally our highway safety inspectors will tolerate such items. I am aware of occasions when the bins in this location are moved, however it is not clear whether this is as a result of bin collectors not putting the bins back where they were prior to collection and/or Friday/Saturday night activity. I have copied in colleagues in Cornwall Council Community and Environmental Protection and would suggest you may also wish to contact the Truro BID Manager (Business Improvement District) Alun Jones

I am aware that a compound for bins has been recently developed in Old Bridge Street car park to deal with similar issues at River Walk, therefore the business may be persuaded to deposit their bins in this facility, if it is not at capacity already. 

We will continue to monitor the situation.

Kind regards

Viv Bidgood

Observe the statement that ” Enforcement is limited to items that actually (and consistently) obstruct a reasonable footway width”. The bins at the end of New Bridge Street have consistently blocked pedestrians from using the pavement on that side of the street and forcing prams and pushchairs out into the traffic flow.

Perhaps Environmental Protection might be interested regarding the waste compound in Old Bridge Street Car Park which is very well used but poorly maintained.  It is blatantly obvious to passers-by, not least visitors to Truro, that the compound is infested with very healthy looking rats; It may be that these vermin are adventurously exploring St Mary’s Street, or it may be that the rats there are coming from the bins deposited there and regularly to be seen overflowing, due to over-use and under-emptying.

Whichever it is, one assumes that the Highways Authority is anxious to ensure that the town is not further undermined by the presence in full daylight of vermin feasting and thriving upon poorly managed waste.

The legal obligation upon the Highways Authority is to keep the highway passable and safe. Surely, hosting containers which foster vermin is rendering the highway unsafe and whilst it may be that case the Highways Authority is not equipped in any way to deal with vermin, Is it not Mr. Bidgood’s duty, where he knows of the existence of such a nuisance on the highway, to report it to the relevant authorities as part of the monitoring regime, and. as a responsible public services provider, to ensure that users are indeed safe?

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