A litter-picking group has claimed that they are unhappy with the way in which Newport City Council deals with the removal of the waste it collects.
Paul Murphy, of Pride in Pill, said that after his group picked up “hundreds” of bags of rubbish, they remained uncollected for almost two weeks, despite claiming that they’d arranged with the council for the rubbish to be taken.
“People were adding to it,” said Mr Murphy, describing piles of waste the group had left for collection in Pill.
He said that the group had collected rubbish across five sites within Pill on January 16 and 23, but that rubbish at three of these sites remained uncollected by Newport council when he returned on January 29.
However, Newport council has responded by stating that Pride in Pill did not follow its procedures for notifying them of its litter picking action in January.
“Pride in Pill did not notify us they would be doing pickups in January, and collected waste that falls outside of the remit of the volunteer agreements,” said a spokesperson for the council.
Elsewhere in Newport, Mr Murphy said that Pride in Pill were contacted by members of the public after rubbish, which included dead rats, was spotted on Church Street in Pill.
However, the group decided against a community clean-up in the area due to the issues it had had previously with collected waste being picked up.
Mr Murphy said the group also carried out a litter pick on the old Sainsburys site on Wyndham Road on February 6, where bags of rubbish they collected remain in place.
However, the council has responded in this case by stating that it is not responsible for the removal of the waste, as the former Sainsbury’s site is private property.
Mr Murphy said that, in the future, he would like to see more support from the council in taking away any rubbish collected as soon as possible.
“If I could get support I would carry on,” he said, discussing Pride in Pill’s litter-picking activities.
“But at the moment, the way it’s going on, I can’t do it.”
A spokesperson for Newport City Council said: “In 2020 we changed our procedures for community litter groups wanting to work with us.
“The new process is more structured in terms of groups having defined areas to collect litter within, booking slots for the council to remove any litter the groups collect, notifying us when picking up ten or more bags of waste, and set criteria for what to collect, which make the collections easier to process.”
They added: “Our procedures help us to manage both the collection of waste and our staffing resources effectively. Our frontline staff have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to deliver services, and also had to respond to the extreme weather that hit the city last month.
“We are grateful to community litter groups who work to help us tackle littering within the city, but we need them to work with us, and within our agreed voluntary arrangements.”