Further calls to bin the bags

Not all of East Ren's rubbish reaches recycling, according to fed up residents
Not all of East Ren's rubbish reaches recycling, according to fed up residents

More than 2,300 East Renfrewshire residents are calling on the council to bin the current recycling system.

Last year, a petition asking East Renfrewshire Council to swap recycling bags for bins gathered over 1,000 signatures.

Now, Facebook page Get East Renfrewshire Recycling Bins (/eastrenbin) has gained 2,386 likes in just a week — and for creator Natasha Bowman, it shows the strength of feeling over East Ren’s rubbish.

The mum-of-one, from Newton Mearns, told The Extra: “It was after strong winds last week, when I spent 45 minutes cleaning up everyone else’s rubbish from my garden, that I decided to raise the issue — and I realised I wasn’t alone.

“We all have the same problems; bags filling up too quickly or blowing away and having to be replaced constantly, but mainly the rubbish we’re finding in our gardens and streets.

“The bags just don’t hold up to Scottish weather and many residents are even finding glass spilling out and smashing on the street.”

Natasha added: “To reach double the number of last year’s petition in such a short space of time is amazing.

“The ideal solution would be blue bins, as used by other councils — but I’m sure there are other, better options than the bags currently provided.”

Councillor Vincent Waters, environment convener for ERC, has addressed complaints on the page directly, and this week promised that the authority is “looking at potential improvements, though with the council having to cut over £20 million from its budget, it will not be easy to find the money to replace more than 80,000 receptacles”.

He added: “I have complete sympathy with residents who dislike the bags. Our current system evolved over a long period and for particular reasons — if we were designing a bin system from scratch it would be quite different.

“Bin collection staff complete more than one million pick ups each year and some errors are bound to happen, but we constantly monitor the service to look for ways to improve.”

A council spokeswoman added: “It is not possible for all properties to accommodate a purely wheeled bin system for collection and we would need to set up and operate a two-tier system at additional cost.

“With a view to meeting our customers’ needs and tougher future recycling targets, the council is considering how best to move forward.”