Dog-gone!

Dog-gone!

What is it about all these ‘offerings’ being made to the “Dog Poo Fairy?”

I cycle through Sydney Gardens on a regular basis. Last week there was a bagged bundle just inside the  Sydney Road entrance. It disappeared in time but there was another one in its place today.

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A little offering – just inside the park entrance.

It’s not as though the park doesn’t contain doggie poo bins – because it does and most dog owners use it.

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Today’s ‘offering’ in roughly the same place.

I never blame a dog for misdemeanours. After all, it’s the owner who has to take responsibility.

It’s a shame some parts of Sydney Gardens have just become a playground for dogs off their leads. Even the poor old spring daffodils have been taking a battering from our four-legged friends running wild.

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Trampled daffs!

Here’s hoping this historic green lung gets its HLF money and its supporters are able to transform it into a revitalised playground with allocated space for all.

Sydney Gardens gives you access to the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal. Turn left towards open countryside and you are in for a real treat.

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The snow has gone now and the canalside looks even worse!

Shame the Canal and River Trust has no real teeth to deal with some of those actually floating on the canal.

Not for me to say how you live your lives but when your rubbish despoils and destroys the canal verge – where others living in tents have also lit fires – it’s time to move on.

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The grit bag is full of rubbish – and there’s a pile of black bags alongside it now!

Never mind the dog poo fairy, here’s a bag of towpath grit being used as a general rubbish dump!

l feel for the responsible users of this amazing heritage and for the volunteers who do all they can to maintain it.

Spring clean for Bath

Spring clean for Bath

Community groups in Bath are joining forces with others across the country over the weekend of 2nd to 4th March to make our country a nicer place to live, by taking part in the annual national Great British Spring Clean, organised by Keep Britain Tidy.

In our patch, there’s even a boat that’s been hired to help clear up the River Avon and volunteers are being encouraged to come along and take part.

Seven groups have already applied to Bath & North East Somerset Council for support for the event, which runs from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4thMarch. The Council is helping volunteer groups by providing litter picking equipment (including, gloves, litter pickers, hi-visibility clothing and rubbish bags) and clearing the bags from designated places.

Across Bath and North East Somerset, volunteers will be litter picking areas including Keynsham, Westfield, Wellow and areas of Bath such as Twerton, Westmoreland, Widcombe and the River Avon.

This is the first time a boat has been used to help with the litter picks, along with a fully trained volunteer crew, whilst other people join in on foot.  Volunteers are being encouraged to sign up and take part by going to www.raclp.eventbrite.co.uk. There will be two clean up shifts (10am-11.30am and 12.30pm-2pm) on Saturday 3rd March, meeting at the Pontoon at the rear of Bath Train Station.  The team are aiming to recycle as much as they can.

Litter Pick with Boat Poster v3

Guy Hodgson, one of the volunteers taking part, said: “This event is a great way of tackling river and ocean pollution. For a lasting improvement, we urgently need action from central government to deliver a comprehensive deposit returns scheme for drinks containers which rewards good behaviour.”

In the last 5 years, Bath & North East Somerset Council has cleared up over 4,000 tonnes of litter every year.  The litter picks will improve our neighbourhoods for everyone to enjoy.  They will make the place cleaner and tidier and reduce the hazards to people and animals caused by litter such as plastic.

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Rubbish thrown over the wall into Sydney Gardens

Cllr Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods, said: “The Spring Clean is just one weekend, but the Council is keen to encourage groups to take part throughout the year, especially at times when demand for equipment is quieter.

“With concerns about the impact of plastic increasing throughout the country, especially as a result of programmes such as the Blue Planet, this is a great way to do your bit and help to protect our environment from the damage caused by carelessly discarded litter.  Everyone can do their bit to help reduce the problem of littering; make sure you throw your rubbish in a litter bin or take it home with you, join a local group or set one up,  or pick up litter when you’re out and about, providing it’s safe to do so.”

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Canalside grit container used for general rubbish and dog poo bags!

Another group taking part is the Keynsham Wombles, who hold regular litter picks throughout the year – last year they even used abseilers to help litter pick parts of the park!  This year they will be starting on foot from various points around Keynsham including Santander for the Memorial Park, the Train Station, Stoney Lane allotments, Dapps Hill Bridge and The Lock Keeper pub.  The litter picks will run from 2pm-4pm, finishing with free tea and cakes at the Bowls Club in the park.

To find out more about how to organise a litter pick, please go to the Council’s website; www.bathnes.gov.uk/organisealitterpick. For more information on keeping your neighbourhood clean and tidy, you may wish to go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/friendsofourstreet for information and free downloadable materials.

Fly-tipper gets heavy fine for despoiling​ Bath beauty spots.

Fly-tipper gets heavy fine for despoiling​ Bath beauty spots.

A 30-year-old man has been fined £6,400 after 12 tonnes of rubbish was dumped in beautiful countryside near Bath, including at an Iron Age Fort and on land belonging to a scout group.

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The actions of Garth Creese, from Crediton Crescent, Bristol, were described by the prosecution as deliberate and led to blatant acts of environmental vandalism in some of the most beautiful and historic areas in the district which had cost innocent landowners in excess of £3,500 to clear up.

Creese, who runs a waste clearance business, pleaded guilty to nine offences, under the Environmental Protection Act, in Rankers Lane, Compton Dando, Keynsham Scout Group land in Chelwood and two incidents at the site of an Iron Age fort in Stantonbury Hill and Stanton Prior. He was fined £1,600 per offence.

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Creese appeared before Bath Magistrates on Monday, February 19th, and was also ordered to pay £450 costs and a victim surcharge of £160.

Bath and North East Somerset Council brought the prosecution following reports of piles of rubbish dumped in the locations between November 24th and December 13th, 2016.

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The court heard that the legislation is designed to ensure those disposing and handling waste take reasonable care to ensure it is only handled by reputable waste handlers and any transfer of waste is accompanied by a Waste Transfer Note,  so that waste is traceable and incidences of fly-tipping reduced.

But the court was told Creese’s unregulated waste clearance business resulted in significant incidences of fly-tipping of builders’ rubbish and household waste including black bagged waste, large household items including a sofa, chairs, a fridge-freezer and miscellaneous items of rubbish.

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Magistrates heard during the investigation that it became clear that Creese showed potential customers an expired Waste Carriers Permit and offered his services at a rate that could never have covered the costs of legitimate disposal.

Speaking after the guilty plea, Councillor Bob Goodman, (Conservative Coombe Down), cabinet member for Development and Neighbourhoods, said: “The investigation took a lot of time but this is an excellent result for the council and its Waste Enforcement Team which I want to thank for its hard work.

“This sends a clear message that we will always prosecute. Fly-tipping is anti-social and in this case a blight on beautiful countryside. We want to remind people that if you employ a waste clearance company please make sure it is a reputable one with up-to-date waste carriers licence.”

 

The rubbish​ problem on your doorstep B&NES!

The rubbish​ problem on your doorstep B&NES!

Out in the suburbs, we have all been given either strengthened sacks or wheelie bins in which to put our rubbish.

However, it seems, the same rule doesn’t apply in the city centre where various private firms have contracts to pick up commercial waste.

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There is foodstuff spilling out of this ripped bag.

I have never heard of mixed recycled bags containing food but this one obviously did and that’s why it’s been pecked open – just across the road from the B&NES Guildhall too!

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Rubbish – almost on the Guildhall steps – B&NES!

I am hearing the contractors only make one round and – if bags are not left out at the right time – they get missed.

Surely all bags should be marked with the name of the business leaving them on the street. That way, when blames needs to be apportioned, it goes to the right shop or cafe door.

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Pieces of cucumber and tomato spill out of this ‘recycling’ bag.

As a cyclist – and sitting above two wheels – l can vouch for how bad the inner-city roads are but this depression in the bus gate outside Waitrose was an obstacle l met on foot and nearly fell through stepping into it!

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The sooner B&NES gets a congestion charge and tourist tax in place the sooner there might be some money available to fix the roads!

Coming back home along the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath l was sad to see a board advertising the fact that planning permission has been granted for three homes to be built in a canalside garden.

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A canalside garden – which opens up views of the countryside beyond – is going to have three houses built upon it.

It’s going to means houses quite close to the canalside edge which – at this point – affords views of the countryside beyond.

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Not denying a successful local builder the right to build quality housing, but feel it’s a shame a patch of canal front is going to make way for three homes. Why B&NES?

I am not denying the builder the right to construct quality homes and – indeed – permission has been given – but shame B&NES can’t look at the bigger picture here.

 

How to reduce your waste line.

How to reduce your waste line.

Here’s a New Year resolution Bath and North East Somerset  Council would like us to adopt in an effort to reduce the amount of general household rubbish they have to collect.

They want us to put recycling high up on our 2018 agenda.

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Most people – they say – recycle paper, bottles and cans but according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) only 12 per cent of households are recycling all they can.

More than half of us are still not regularly recycling everything we can from the bathroom and the average UK household only recycles 270 of the 480 plastic bottles they use each year.

Here are Bath and North East Somerset Council’s top ten list of items you might not realise you can recycle …

With your tins and cans and plastic you can recycle …

  • Aerosols – empty deodorant and hairspray, furniture polish and air fresheners
  • Biscuit tins – metal and plastic biscuit tins can be included with your plastic and cans.
  • Cleaning bottles – including bleach bottles and bathroom cleaners
  • Liquid soap bottles – empty, rinse and remove pump dispenser  (throw that in the bin)
  • Shower gel, shampoo and conditioner bottles – rinse, squash and replace the lids

With your cardboard you can recycle …

  • Empty tissue boxes please flatten
  • Empty boxes for dishwasher tablets and washing powder please flatten

With your small electrical items you can recycle …

  • Broken electric toys – if they’re small enough to fit inside a plastic carrier bag you can put them out next to your green box for recycling

With your clothes and shoes you can recycle …

  • Bedding – sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers (no pillows, duvets or other stuffed items).  Please put in a labelled bag to keep dry
  • Clothing accessories – including hats, bags, belts and jewellery

You can also line your food waste caddy or bin with an everyday carrier bag (such as a plastic carrier bag, bread bag or vegetable bag) so if you haven’t already started recycling your food waste make sure you order your food bin now – it’s clean and easy to use.

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Cllr Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods said: “If we all recycle as much as we possibly can that means we need to throw away less in our rubbish bins.  Please make sure that you only put your rubbish in your wheeled bin or re-usable rubbish bag – do not put out any extra rubbish.”

To find out more about Bath & North East Somerset Council’s recycling and rubbish collections, please go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/wasteservices or contact Council Connect (councilconnect@bathnes.gov.uk 0

S’now what to do with your rubbish!

S’now what to do with your rubbish!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – from Bath’s Theatre Royal – have joined Bath & North East Somerset Council’s campaign to encourage residents to make full use of the wide range of recycling collection services available and reduce what goes into rubbish bags over the Christmas break.

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At Christmas, we use enough card packaging in the UK to cover Big Ben nearly 260,000 times – a staggering amount which, when laid out, would cover the return distance between London and Lapland – 103 times (*) – so it’s lucky that we can recycle!

Devon-Elise Johnson, who stars as Snow White, in the pantomime was joined by the Theatre Royal’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ – Jamie Legg as Sneezer, Simeon Dyer as Smiler, Glynn Jones as Kip, Sarah Knowles as Soppy, Mark Sealey as Grouchy, Steve Cox as Twitcher and Chris Chapman as Pop – who are helping Bath & North East Somerset Council publicise just how much of the waste we produce at Christmas can now be recycled.

The Theatre Royal’s Snow White, Devon-Elise Johnson, said: “In the pantomime, Snow White has to do a lot of chores for the Wicked Queen but one household job I love is recycling. We’re backing Bath and North East Somerset’s Christmas recycling campaign and I’m a huge fan, with so much extra waste at this time of year it’s more important than ever to get involved. If you follow the simple guidelines, you might be surprised to see just how much you actually can recycle now. It’s great to know that everything collected for recycling is made into useful new products, it helps to save energy and resources, so the more we can all recycle the better.”

Almost everyone is familiar with recycling certain basic items, but with such a wide range now included Snow White and the ‘Magnificent Seven’ are reminding everyone of the top 7 Christmas items we can recycle, including;

–     PAPER, remember to recycle your Christmas wrapping paper and greetings cards;

–     GLASS BOTTLES AND JARS from cranberry sauce, mincemeat and mulled wine bottles;

–     FOIL from mince pies and wrapping the turkey;

–     CANS AND AEROSOLS including squirty cream aerosols plus large tins like biscuit tins;

–     TEXTILES including worn out or unwanted Christmas jumpers;

–     CARDBOARD, you can recycle packaging from presents and deliveries, mince pie boxes and tubes from inside wrapping paper and the cardboard from around Christmas crackers (make sure you remove all other non-cardboard items);

–     ELECTRICAL ITEMS like broken fairy lights or electronic toys;

and

–     FOOD – Snow White may well have wished she’d recycled her infamous apple in her food waste! As well as fruit, you can also put left-over turkey skin and bones in your food bin, sprout and vegetable peelings, nut shells and any other left over food – remember you can put your food in plastic bags if you prefer not to use the compostable liners.

Bath & North East Somerset Council would like to thank the residents of Bath and North East Somerset for their help and patience with the new collection service. Now that rubbish is collected every other week, it’s important to recycle as much as possible and the Council is hoping that these tips will help residents to do just that over the Christmas period. When putting your recycling out, please remember to help the crews by separating your recycling.

There will be no collections on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan) so residents are advised to check their revised collection day online at

www.bathnes.gov.uk/checkcollection or contact Council Connect on 01225 39 40 41.

Residents can also take their waste to Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Recycling Centres. These will be open every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day (25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan).

 

Getting it right?

Getting it right?

The city’s revised recycling and refuse collecting operation seems to be delivering a bonus.

The Council says recycling rates in Bath and North East Somerset have jumped with around 100 tonnes of waste now being recycled each day, thanks to the support of residents.

Figures show crews collected almost 450 tonnes of recycling last week ten tonnes more each day – since the new waste service started on November 6.

And there has been a big reduction in the general rubbish collection with less each day going into the black wheelie bins and reusable rubbish bags.

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Cllr Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods with Grahame Stennett operations manager for Bath & North East Somerset Council

Cllr Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods, said: “These are fantastic figures and I hope they will continue to improve. We want to thank everyone for helping with this transition to the new service and for bearing with us during some teething problems.

“This was one of the biggest changes to our waste collection service. Crews have had to learn new routes and an increase in tonnage on recycling trucks means some recycling rounds are currently being picked up the following day. These are short-term issues which we are resolving and we want to thank people for their patience.”

Figures show a phenomenal number of green boxes and food caddies being ordered with around 6,000 due to be delivered or collected from recycling centres.

And more than 5,000 people have signed up for Bath & North East Somerset Council’s weekly text reminder service – helping people avoid any confusion about the right day to put their recycling and waste out.

Councillor Goodman added: “We’ve got additional staff and trucks delivering containers, but it may take a few weeks to get to everyone.  If you don’t want to wait, you can collect them from the council’s recycling centres in Bath, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton. Alternatively, you can continue to put your recycling out in other suitable containers while you are waiting.”

Bath & North East Somerset Council is only delivering recycling containers on request.

If you’re confused about the new service, go to  www.bathnes.gov.uk/recycle where B&NES have more than 30 FAQs to help deal with most of the questions you may have.

An information pack, which was delivered with the bin/bag includes a calendar showing new collection days.  You can also check your collection day by going to http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/checkcollection

Remember that you can recycle as many as 17 different types of recyclable items – including food waste – from your kerbside weekly. Take a look at the Council’s festive 12 recycling tips for Christmas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDkZaiJ2zAE