Pickles announces plan to tackle ‘bin blight’

Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, has said he intends to tackle the “ghastly gauntlet of bin blighted streets”.

Eric PicklesWhile the final decision on implementing this rests with individual councils, the DCLG hopes this will lead to ‘designing out’ the sight of bins on public roads. Pickles commented: “For years badly-placed wheelie bins and the proliferation of multiple bins have created a blot on the landscape. In streets up and down the country, ugly bin clutter has ruined the street scene and the look of people’s homes and gardens.”This autumn, his department will be issuing new planning guidance to local authorities, requiring developers to create sufficient space for wheelie bins and recycling containers. This, claims the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), will help prevent ‘bins dominating residential streets or contributing to increased odour and roadside litter, and problems with rats, mice, flies and urban foxes’.

The DCLG Secretary also took the opportunity to have another swipe at local authorities’ reluctance to revert from alternate weekly residual collections: “This government is standing up for hard-working people and getting rid of barmy bin policies which made families’ lives hell. I want to make sure families get a proper rubbish and recycling collection service for the large amount of money they have to pay in Council Tax.”

Responding to the minister’s pledge to tackle ‘bin blight’, Joy Blizzard, LARAC Chair, said: “Speaking in the same August spirit as this announcement, I’m confused, because if there really is a bin blight then it’s better it happens once a fortnight rather than once a week. On a more serious note, all councils I’ve worked for have always required services to ensure developments have adequate storage, as well as simple things like making sure refuse trucks can turn round in cul-de-sacs.”

Chris Murphy, Deputy Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute for Wastes Management (CIWM) added: “In 2005 CIWM worked with the British Standards Institute (BSI) to develop guidance relating to waste storage in new builds and renovations, so the suggestions raised by Mr Pickles are nothing new.

“Making provisions for wheelie bin storage is definitely something that we support, and such a move will help to reduce street litter and remove obstructions from footpaths. However, it is not possible to retrofit the majority of the housing in the UK, so there are still going to be areas of the country where wheelie bin storage will continue outside homes and therefore on pavements.”