Sunday, 19 April 2009

Rats, Maggots and Flies

As we approach summer I thought I’d have a moan at the councils decision to collect household waste on a fortnightly basis as opposed to weekly and to point out the problems I have encountered.

As much as I want to help the environment, I am finding the new system extremely inconvenient, time-consuming and costly, accompanied by the undesirable increase of flies, maggots, wasps and rodents.

I fastidiously follow council guidelines on bin care which is to double-wrap food waste, use a bin liner, clean the bin regularly, make sure the lid is down and to place the bin out of direct sunlight. After following these procedures my bin is still susceptible to maggots and flies, so I contacted my local councillor who informed me that I must clean my dustbin more often. Typical response from a typical labour councillor. This is just not possible as it is continuously having waste added to it.

Following the councillors response I decided a little research would be advisable and, on the council website, I found the following statements:

1) There is no proven research that links this type of collection with ill health in our modern society and furthermore, maggots in wheeled bins will not cause health problems.
2) Flies are all around and have potential to spread disease; no matter what type of refuse collection service is in operation.

In warm weather the transition from fly egg through maggot and pupae stage to adult fly is under ten days, therefore the recycling guideline statements are, in my opinion, contradictory and fortnightly collections are indeed hazardous to health.

Since the introduction of recycling two years ago, my property has suffered rat infestation twice, resulting in environmental services assistance. I was informed that the cause of the infestation was a compost bin on my garden so I no longer compost. Once again I had followed council guidelines such as only composting raw vegetables, egg shells, newspapers and certain garden waste but the rats had burrowed underneath the compost bin to retrieve the food. Chicken wire placed underneath the compost bin did not solve the problem as the rats chewed through it. There are alternatives but they come at a price.

The ‘Greencone’ is the cheapest option at £69.95. It is partially buried beneath the ground but is made of plastic which rats can chew through.

Another option is the ‘Human Liquid Activator’ (HLA) which uses a combination of human urine, water and liquid seaweed. Once again it is costly and rather difficult to implement if you are female.

My next concern, as a water meter user, is my dramatically increased water consumption due to the washing of recyclable containers. Whether tin, glass or plastic this has to be done to keep flies and wasps to a minimum.

Veolia Environmental Services, which operates on behalf of Amber Valley Borough Council, showed group turnover in 2007 of £1.114 billion. This represented a 59.7% increase on the previous year. Group operating profit was £105.4m, an increase of 75.6% on 2006.

It’s worth mentioning that I had a chat with one of the men who delivers new dustbins and he told me that a certain Labour councillor pushed through the use of the Spanish owned Veolia thinking it would be cheaper. He has now found out that it is a hell of a lot more expensive.

At this point I would like to point out that every household pays council tax, part of which is used for the disposal of recyclables and household waste, and the householder once again is out of pocket while the powers that be are making more and more money.

In view of the huge profits being made from our recyclables, maybe we should all request a revised and reduced council tax. Will we get one?

I won’t be holding my breath!

1 comment:

The Green Arrow said...

Good Luck Shady Lady. I hope to be a regular visitor.

All material published on these pages represents the personal views of the DERBY PATRIOT and should not be taken to represent any political party.