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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Rats and overfull bins spark calls to move centre

RATS, flooding and overflowing bins have prompted Hensingham residents to call for a nearby recycling centre to be moved.

CEHENSRECY0901
Unhappy: Locals say the expanding recycling centre at Hensingham has led to rubbish blowing around the Square and an increase in rats. Among concerned residents are, from left, Brian and Jean Phillipson and Ian and Christine Latter

The centre, based at the Square, is also a residents’ car park and several vehicles have been damaged.

Nearby resident Ian Latter said: “I can’t understand why, with all the wasteground in the Copeland area, the recycling centre was thrust on a small village. It used to be lovely. I am now ashamed to say we live here.”

Rats are a problem, he said. “There has been an increase. It costs us a fortune in rat poison as Copeland doesn’t control vermin.”

His wife, Christine, said: “It is not a recycling area, it is like living on a dump. It shouldn’t be in a residential area.

“At first there were only a few bins, but it has continued to grow. The recycled glass is always collected at 7.30am so when that is being removed the noise is terrible and makes you jump.

“Also, the sound of bottles and cans being dropped into the bins means it is impossible to sit in the garden in peace.”

Christine explained that in windy weather debris from the centre blows down into the nearby beck, which is prone to flooding.

“Some members of the public just leave their rubbish by the recycling bins, even when they are empty. There are TVs, microwaves, carpets, garden waste bags full of rotting food, just dumped. I think because they don’t live here, people don’t care.”

The couple believe the centre could be moved to wasteground at Sneckyeat.

Another Hensingham resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “Slowly the car parking space is diminishing. Over the holiday period, including Christmas Day, droves of cars were turning up to deposit their recycling. When the bins were full, it was dropped in front of the banks.

“With the high winds, and lack of collection, rubbish has been strewn all over the place. It is a disgrace.’’

The centre is set for a make-over including widening of the entrance to accommodate larger vehicles, new signage and screens.

Cumbria county councillor Mike Hawkins responded to previous complaints about the state of the centre by pledging £4,200 from his Local Members’ fund to allow work to be carried out.

Pat Graham, Cope-land’s head of services, said: “All the recycling at Hensingham was collected on Monday.

“This is an incredibly well-used site and, particularly at this time of year, it can fill up in a day. Recent extreme weather led to exceptional peaks and troughs in people visiting recycling sites, and this was coupled with all the extra recycling Christmas brings.

“We do prepare for this and put extra banks at busy sites, but the Hensingham site is too small. We could put full-sized skips there to solve the overflow problem but at the request of residents we have chosen to leave some space for parking.’’

She said Copeland monitored the sites very closely, as do its contractors. “Problems are generally dealt with very quickly. But the prolonged extreme weather has been an added complication on this occasion.

“We have looked for other sites to serve Hensingham and Hillcrest but none have been suitable. Unfortunately we don’t own any land at Sneckyeat and the industrial estate is gated and closed to the public at certain times.

“It is also further away from residents and for these reasons we are not considering it as an alternative site. The current one is very accessible for people – which is why it gets so much use.”

Mrs Graham added: “We have recently upgraded the banks at Hensingham and are looking to improve access and signage too. It’s also worth pointing out that there are recycling facilities at Copeland Pool, also in Hensingham.”

Copeland Council urged users of the centre not to unlock the lids of the recycling bins as, during the high winds, this was causing rubbish to blow across the area.

Have your say

Dont move the bins! Just dont drop rubbish on the floor make sure its in the bins, then we wont have any rats!

Posted by Trigger on 12 January 2014 at 23:58

If its moved then it will only create a problem else where.
Its also easy to access that part of the area where the bins are located.

Posted by martin rogers on 9 January 2014 at 14:09

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