Council leader responds to Litter Busters' collection concerns
Date published: 29 April 2021
Some of the bags of rubbish collected by the Failsworth Litter Busters volunteers which have now been collected by the council
A dedicated community group – the Failsworth Litter Busters – have been left puzzled by Oldham Council’s request for them to ‘hold off’ carrying out their collections.
The council’s Environmental Services department sent an email message to one of the FLB volunteers indicating that no more collection bags would be provided because staff are ‘very stretched covering our scheduled work and are struggling to keep collecting bags’.
Admitting their decision ‘may seem a little unfair’, Environmental Services ‘just cannot cope with so many reports to collect bags’.
An FLB volunteer told the Chronicle: “The council had, until this, fully supported the group and had picked up the bags of litter collected by its local members.
“We don't understand the logic behind it.
“They're telling us to stop picking up so much litter because it's making too much work for them picking up the bags.
“I know it's a district-wide problem, but we do feel like the forgotten part of Oldham.
“Some things we’ve cleared are still there after more than 12 months, and some rubbish has been there for over four years.”
Councillor Sean Fielding, Leader of Oldham Council and a Failsworth West ward councillor, has responded to the group's concerns.
He said: “It’s great that so many local volunteers want to work with the council to keep Failsworth tidy and litter-free.
“As a Failsworth resident I’d like to thank them for all the hard work they have done in their community throughout the pandemic.
“The council and officers in the District team have supported Failsworth Litter Busters in the past and we’ll continue to do so in the future.
“All we’d ask is that the group members work together and co-ordinate their efforts.
"If they can contact each other and work out a date, time and place bagged waste can be collected that would work fine.
"Then if they let the district team know in advance they’ll arrange for it to be picked up.
“Our teams are extremely busy working seven days a week keeping our streets, roads and open spaces clean across the borough.
"The council simply doesn’t have the resources and staff to pick up waste that has been collected by individual residents, especially if we are told about it at the last minute, which has happened on a number of occasions recently.”
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