Residents of Tiverton are grappling with mounting waste management issues as local councillors voice their concerns about refuse collection and disposal.

At a Tiverton Town Council meeting, councillors raised problems affecting their constituents. Councillor Sofia Beard brought up the plight of a parent living above a shop in the town centre.

“She found that the courtyard to the rear of the property where her bin was being kept was being used by somebody else. Because they were putting their rubbish in there, she could not put her waste in there, so her waste is now accumulating near the stairs, creating a fire and health risk for her and her family,” Beard said.

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The resident had asked Mid Devon for an extra bin, but this request was refused.

“Therefore, if she puts that rubbish bag outside, it’ll be listed as side waste. Refuse collectors will open it up, and find details to see if it’s hers. Then, she will be educated about what she should do with it.

“Having already approached Mid Devon to ask for help and having been refused, it’s inappropriate and patronising for her to come under the education program,” Beard added.

Mid Devon District Council cabinet member David Wulff responded, “I can understand why the message was relayed as it was as the correct action is to prosecute the person who put the waste in the bin.

“I appreciate that it doesn’t help the individual at the moment. However, please share that with me in private, and we will solve that one with the waste management team at Mid Devon.”

Mr Wulff also acknowledged the difficulties in accessing Mid Devon’s services. “Access to Mid Devon is a difficult problem. You need staff, so it’s not as easy as just leaving the doors open. They need to have what they need to answer the queries. It is being treated seriously,” he said.

Councillor Sue Griggs raised another issue concerning side waste in the town centre.

“Black sacks get put out when business owners put out blue sacks or clear sacks, and seagulls come down, pecking them open, discouraging people from shopping here,” Cllr Griggs said.

“We now have black bins being left on Fore Street because the refuse collectors aren’t collecting the rubbish. They are left out in the open, leaving it down to businesses to sweep up the streets.”

Mr Wulff promised to provide feedback on this issue, saying, “I’ll feed back to Mid Devon that this is happening.”

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