Residents of rural hamlet told they must drag their wheelie bins three quarters of a mile for collection (From The Northern Echo)
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Residents of rural hamlet told they must drag their wheelie bins three quarters of a mile for collection
A DECISION to make residents of a tiny hamlet drag their wheelie bins three quarters of a mile to a main road for collections has been described as ‘ludicrous’.
People living in West Newbiggin, a collection of four houses and a farm close to Sadberge, near Darlington, said they are angry they were not consulted about the change by Darlington Borough Council.
The residents received a letter from the council last week telling them that the bin wagon would no long pick up their wheelie bins, or their recycling boxes, from outside their properties and that instead they must be brought to Norton Back Lane, the closest main road.
Lorraine Tostevin, parish spokeswoman, said it was not feasible for residents to pull their wheelie bins along a three quarter mile, unlit and uphill single-track road every week.
Mrs Tostevin also argued that the proposed collection point, at the junction between the track and Norton Back Lane, which is also unlit, would be dangerous for motorists and impractical for storage.
The council said it is aware of residents’s concerns and is working to come up with a solution.
Bin wagons had previously collected household waste in black bags from West Newbiggin properties and had continued to do so when wheelie bins were introduced earlier this year.
The road to West Newbiggin is maintained by Darlington Borough Council and was recently resurfaced.
Mrs Tostevin said: “When we got the letter we contacted StreetScene and they advised us this was council policy and they were within their rights to insist upon this collection point.
“We were given no indication as to why and that’s one of the disappointments, that we have not had any consultation whatsoever despite the fact the council saying that they wanted to consult heavily on the implementation of wheelie bins.
“They can’t have a collection point that’s three quarters of a mile away, uphill and on an unlit road. If there needs to be a collection point then we could suggest places that are closer to the houses and safer for everyone.”
Councillor Brian Jones, ward member for Sadberge and Whessoe, has given his support to the West Newbiggin residents.
He said: “This is a ludicrous decision. It’s grossly unfair that residents should be expected to take their bins so far.
“Why are rural residents being treated differently to those in urban areas?”
A council spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the issues that residents are experiencing in West Newbiggin regarding their refuse and recycling. “We are currently in the process of trying to identify a suitable collection point for refuse and recycling that suits both the residents and the council. We hope to work with the residents to come to a reasonable solution within the next few days.”
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