A ROW has broken out over responsibility for mountains of rubbish piling up in Weymouth – as the Dorset Waste Partnership meets to discuss a £2m overspend.

As reported in the Echo, rubbish has been left on streets because it has been placed in ‘unauthorised sacks’ and residents say they have ‘never seen the town looking so disgusting.’ The bin bags have been stickered with a notice reading: “Sorry, we could not collect some or all your rubbish because it was contained in unauthorised sacks. Please only put your rubbish in authorised Dorset Waste Partnership blue sacks.”

Authorised blue sacks were distributed to households that have been assessed as unable to use wheelie bins for the new Recycle for Dorset scheme.

But some say they never got the bags – and there are now fears of a vermin infestation as sacks of rubbish line the streets.

But the DWP is standing firm and says it won’t collect rubbish that is in the wrong bags. It says it has given clear information to residents in the run up to the roll-out and anyone who was missing the right bags could get in touch.

Steve Burdis, director of the Dorset Waste Partnership, said: “We sent leaflets to every household about the new service in April and May to give them time to contact us. We also held roadshows and provided information through the local media and online.

“Properties unable to use wheelie bins receive an annual supply of authorised blue sacks for rubbish. Our policy states that we will not collect rubbish left outside a bin in unauthorised sacks. During the first two months we collected extra sacks while the service was bedding in but we are now applying the policy.

“We have been delivering outstanding blue sacks to properties that have contacted us. Our education team is working alongside collection crews, going door-to-door advising residents.

“We visited a communal property on East Street where the bin store was overflowing and had been cleared by the housing association. We have removed the black sacks and provided residents with blue sacks.”

John Gough, proprietor of the Cutter Hotel in East Street said: “I know they are saying they have informed everyone about the blue bags and I am sure they have – but if they didn’t give you the bags, what can you do? I have told them I do not have the blue bags.”

Town centre councillor Francis Drake said: “It’s tit for tat. The DWP should pick up all the rubbish rather than leaving it – then send someone round to educate residents. This needs to be sorted out otherwise this town is going to have a big health problem.”

  •  The situation comes as the Joint Advisory Committee of the DWP meets today to discuss its overspend. Councillors will be told that overspending for 2014/15 is somewhere between £2.03m and £2.27m – a vast sum more than the £480k originally predicted. As late as September, planners had overspending predicted at £1.26m in the most ‘pessimistic’ scenario. But during early November, four ‘key factors’ were re-examined – and the figure was adjusted to around £1m more.

‘Recycle or pay the consequences’

RESIDENTS have taken to social media to debate the responsibility for rubbish on Weymouth’s streets.

Darren Arnold said: “It’s so incredibly simple to get the correct waste in the correct bin. It says on top of them what goes in what, a child could do it. You can blame it on whatever you want, personally I think it is down to laziness. I think they are right not to collect it. Recycle or pay the consequences.”

Abbi Mitchell said: “It’s very hard for people living in bedsits and very small flats, where they have to keep all rubbish in the kitchen or bedsit until collection. It is very unhealthy for people and children. This is the problem.”

User Olympic legacy said: “It really isn’t that hard to follow the rules of this scheme and 99 per cent are doing so successfully it’s the one per cent that are not that a covering our streets in filth. Have a bit of respect for your neighbours and the town and be responsible for your rubbish. I’ve never seen the town looking so disgusting.”