Following the attendance of an interested member of the public (who volunteers with “Litterbugs”) at the October 2022 meeting, in the public engagement session, to discuss litter and fly-tipping issues in Mossley, the Town Council agreed that a special item be included in the next meeting. The meeting was open to interested parties and organisations. Officers from Tameside Council were also invited.
The following officers represented Tameside MBC at the meeting:
Nick Sayers (Head of Operations and Greenspace)
Mike Robinson – (Regulatory Services Manager)
The meeting was attended by 15 interested residents, including representatives of the Town Team, Friends of Mossley Park and Friends of Egmont Street.
The Officers from TMBC outlined their respective service delivery methods, collection timetables and enforcement successes.
The success of the Litterbugs was mentioned where a collection of bagged litter is deposited at a location, then notified to TMBC who organises pick up and disposal.
An important point made was the establishment by the officers of a new initiative by TMBC of a “Litter Hubs Network” a network where residents or groups can book out free equipment, including high visibility jackets, litter pickers, gloves and black bags, from community places. Council officers will then arrange for the collected rubbish to be disposed of appropriately. Participants will be given a safety checklist and asked to sign out the equipment.
The following link takes you to the press release about the initiative from TMBC:
Thereafter the following points were made during the open discussion:
- Contamination occurred to the content of recycling bins when left on-street thus defeating recycling objectives. This may be lessened by education/publicity
- Commercial waste bins had a locking facility
- Increased publicity on which recycling material could be placed in each bin would assist in reminding/educating residents
- Different coloured bags used by community groups to collect litter would assist in displaying the volume of litter collected by the groups
- There was little correlation between the size of receptacles in the town centre, the amount of litter deposited and frequency of emptying. This often lead to litter being deposited in the location of the bins left open to vandalism and vermin etc. Abuse of on street facilities by some local residents and businesses may exacerbate the problem. Officers from TMBC undertook to address any specific locations drawn to their attention
- The possibility of locking devices being manufactured or installed on household bins left on-street was considered. It was acknowledged that this was a significant issue to address bearing in mind the numbers of properties in Tameside as a whole, but this may be considered on bins where residents had no option other than to leave their bins on street
- The reissuing, possibly on a more regular basis of recycling bin collection days may assist residents and therefore recycling objectives
- The sharing by residents of bin capacity could be encouraged
- Fly-tipping often occurred because local residents did not have facilities to access civic amenity facilities. Bulky waste collection facilities made available by TMBC should be more widely publicised
- TMBC occasionally made skips available in some areas to enable residents to dispose of bulky items but this service had reduced significantly during the pandemic
- TMBC had a limited budget to deal with litter collection and recycling etc and had to make the most of the scarce resources available
- Several litter and fly-tipping hotspots were cited by residents. TMBC officers undertook to consider action in any cases specifically referred to them subject to budget considerations
In concluding the debate and expressing gratitude to the officers from TMBC for their attendance, the Chair (Town Councillor Frank Travis) suggested that further informal discussions would take place to co-ordinate, in partnership with the Litter Hubs Network, community activity on litter collection in the Town and thereafter to develop formal arrangements. Those discussions will involve all interested parties and all parties will be invited to participate and be kept informed of progress and future arrangements.
A fully co-ordinated plan of action to tackle litter was considered to be the most successful way of tackling litter nuisance.
A grant application for litter collection items from Mossley Hollins School was to be considered at the meeting. Unfortunately the student who was to present the item was unwell and could not attend. However, in light of the discussions noted above the Council thought that the School should in the first instance be included in the follow up work described above.