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Refuse collection raises few complaints
Roger Clarke follows the dustcart

I read recently that 67% of all complaints about Bradford MDC services are about missed bin collections. I checked with friends in the Village about the reliability of their Thursday collections and all were positive about the efficiency of the service. There were inevitable moans about wheelie bins being eyesores, but they do seem to have streamlined collections and leave less rubbish lying around after the bin lorry has gone. They are safer for the bin crews too, with less chance of injury from sharp objects. There was also praise for the punctuality and helpfulness of the team.

So I decided to chat to the bin crew which normally deals with Saltaire. It is usually the same team week after week and I followed them round as they worked. They have to be very fit to deal with some of the bins, which are heavy and difficult to manoeuvre. But they cope quite happily with the hard work and say that their only problems are the parked cars and the volume of traffic. Fortunately, they don't have to go up and down each street, since they just collect bins from the ends of back alleys - thanks to Sir Titus's town planning! I pressed them about complaints to them from the public, but there are no so many and are mainly misunderstandings about recycling and general collections, because the lorry carries an advert for recycling. The team seemed to take everything which had been put out without any fuss. To say that they had clocked on in Keighley at 7 a.m. they were still in a cheerful frame of mind when I spoke to them at 1 p.m.

All very positive - so where does that 67% come from? I suspect it is about teething troubles as the new recycling schemes have been introduced. There seems to have been a problem with timing, because the advertising and the delivery of different kinds of bin was done well before the system was up and running efficiently. The first few collection dates were chaotic, with bins left uncollected in the Shipley area, but it now seems to be sorted out. Saltaire residents seem to be happy with the paper recyling system using bags rather than bins. There was also praise for the siting of skips for more bulky waste. Will that be a regular initiative or just a one-off?

Do you agree that we are lucky to have the team we do?

Roger Clarke

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