Bristol: St Pauls fly-tipping like living in slum, say residents

By Emma Hallett
BBC News

Rubbish piled upImage source, Emma Reynolds
Image caption,
Specially designed communal bins were installed in 2010 to be used in place of individual wheelie and recycling bins

Fly-tipping has led to "slum-like" conditions in one area of Bristol, residents claim.

People living in St Pauls say communal bins are overflowing with "mountains" of rubbish left on the street and the council is not tackling it.

Emma Reynolds described it as "soul-destroying" and said she avoided trips out because she could not cope mentally with the piles of litter.

Bristol's mayor told residents he has deployed extra waste crews to the area.

But residents say that when they have reported fly-tipping to the council, the authority has failed to do anything about it within the promised 48-hour period.

Image source, Emma Reynolds
Image caption,
Residents say rubbish blows all over the street all day long

The problem has arisen after communal bins were introduced in the area in 2010, replacing individual wheelie and recycling bins.

Ms Reynolds, who has lived in St Pauls for 10 years, said: "It's like being in a slum, where there are literally mountains of garbage, and garbage being blown all the way up the street.

"Mentally I sometimes cannot face it. I will avoid trips out because of the litter. It just wears you down and makes you depressed over time.

"Last week, one of the fast food places put a whole bin of raw chicken out and it stunk, and everyone felt sick. It's just soul destroying."

Tom Leahy, lives nearby with his partner and 15-month-old son.

He said: "Because it isn't in proper bins, the rats and seagulls rip the bags open and then it's blown all down the street and you end up with the whole area covered in rubbish.

Image source, Emma Reynolds
Image caption,
Fly-tipped furniture is also a frequent occurrence in St Pauls

"We're now thinking of leaving the area. I don't really want my little boy walking through a load of rubbish every time we leave the house."

Mr Leahy said while Bristol Waste do try to clear the rubbish, they are just dealing with the symptom rather than the cause.

In a letter to one resident, Mayor Marvin Rees said: "As a result of reporting the issues you have identified, the council is addressing the immediate concerns of the litter and fly tips around the communal bins and on the street.

"The team is also identifying how it can improve the processes around communal bins to ensure these issues do not arise in the future."

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: "The council takes the issue very seriously and aims to tackle fly-tipping head-on and clamp down on offenders, investing an additional £1 million in dealing with this problem.

"Members of our litter enforcement team are working alongside Bristol Waste to monitor known fly-tipping hotspots in order to target offenders. We have also increased the penalty for fly tipping and graffiti to send a clear message that this will not be tolerated in our city."

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