Clarifying our bin position

SIR – Following your article ‘Council’s bin silly’, I’d like to clarify why and how we issue Section 46 notices, similar to the one Mr Christoforou received.

In areas where littering or fly-tipping occur, it is the council’s responsibility to rectify the issues, permanently.

Yes, we clear up any mess, but what is to stop it happening again?

We issue notices as an essential part of our environmental education process, particularly for those new to the area, about best practice in managing their refuse.

This also reduces costs and as a result, the council tax charged to the area.

If there is a problem in a particular road in the borough, officers visit all properties to discuss local clean and green issues.

This helps identify where the problem lies, but also to reinforce messages to other residents, letting them know that the council is working to improve their local area.

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Unfortunately, it is not always possible to speak directly with residents, which is when hand-delivered letters are posted, with general tips about how to manage refuse appropriately.

The notices were delivered to Bishops Rise residents because of a large number of incidents where rubbish was being presented too early for collection, resulting in the bags being torn open and littering occurring.

Our environmental services team has been in regular contact with Mr Christoforou regarding the concerns he had over the notice that was issued in November.

I would like to thank him for pointing out that the wording could be misleading and assure him that we have altered this accordingly.

Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) are a last resort, used only when residents persist in flouting rules, which are there to ensure that our borough remains clean and green. FPNs will only be issued once all other avenues, predominantly education, have been undertaken.

Finally, I would like to let residents know that the council offers ‘assisted collections’ for people with mobility issues.

Operatives collect refuse or recycling from a mutually agreed location and return the bin/boxes to that location.

For more information about refuse and recycling, please see our website or call 01707 357000.

Bob Jewell,

Director (finance and operations),

Welwyn Hatfield Council.