The Bath team that aims to educate traders over waste collections

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By Bath Chronicle | Saturday, October 27, 2012, 07:00

As the shutters come down and the tourists head home, there's a group of men in Bath whose job is just beginning.

Late at night, members of Bath and North East Somerset Council's environmental protection team hit the streets on the look-out for bags of rubbish.

The aim of the three-man patrols is to stop shops, pubs and restaurants leaving rubbish out before it is due for collection.

Led by environmental protection manager, Aled Williams, the cleansing enforcement officers walk the streets of Bath looking for fly-tipping, littering, graffiti, fly-posting and commercial waste.

Businesses in the city have two windows of opportunity to get commercial waste collected – between 5pm and 8.45pm and 7.30am to 10am.

Mr Williams explained: "With trade waste in the city centre and across B&NES, they have to present their waste at certain times, either early morning or at night.

"This means between just before 9pm at night until early morning there's no waste on the streets.

"Another part of it is a duty of care on the part of the business. The responsibility sits with the business to ensure their waste is sited appropriately and contained appropriately until such time as it's collected by somebody else."

He added: "Bags that are left out overnight will be kicked by people or scavenged by animals. If we've got a split bag first thing in the morning that will cause a hell of a problem.

"There is plenty of opportunity for them to get waste collected so it's not out in the streets all day, every day."

When the team comes across rubbish left outside a business and outside the allowed collection times, the team's first job is to collect evidence. The enforcement officers will take photos of the rubbish in the street to put it in context, they then open the rubbish to find evidence that can link it to a specific business, such as coat hangers, letterheads or plastic bags.

If rubbish is traced to a specific business, the team's first course of action is to engage with the firm and remind it of its responsibilities but if it happens again a £100 fixed penalty notice is issued, which businesses have 21 days to appeal against. Further breaches can lead to prosecution.

However, Mr Williams added enforcement was more than just about issuing fixed penalty notices.

He said: "That first stage is really important for us – it's the business support stage and the key thing with enforcement is behaviour change."

Mr Williams said there were plenty of options for businesses having difficulty controlling their waste volumes, such as increasing the frequency at which they have rubbish collected or assessing how stock is managed.

Another responsibility for the enforcement team is checking that businesses, particularly takeaways, have the correct trade waste agreement in place. Failure to provide a satisfactory contract can result in a penalty notice of £300.

The enforcement team also monitors Keynsham, Radstock, Midsomer Norton and Twerton High Street.

      

Comments

       
  • Profile image for Imp-Act

    I have never read so much rubbish!

    By Imp-Act at 00:53 on 28/10/12

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  • Profile image for Juneplayer

    What about Moorland Rd? And, haven't you let the 'cat out the bag' by saying how you trace offenders?!!

    By Juneplayer at 22:03 on 27/10/12

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  • Profile image for mrmeldrew

    Is the third member of the team undercover?

    By mrmeldrew at 19:59 on 27/10/12

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  • Profile image for jonquil

    I hope they take a tour of the underpass connecting Grove St and Pulteney Weir, the bins f4rom the Indian resturant are a disgrace the area is never cleaned and the output from the kitchen fans is surely a health hazard to any one walking under there, making it a no go area.Traders under there please note!

    By jonquil at 17:39 on 27/10/12

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  • Profile image for Ilovespaniels

    I've got a couple of huge boxes to put out for recycling, I thought I had the wrong orders from Amazon and ToysRus. The contents filled one third of the box so the empty space was stuffed with brown paper.

    By Ilovespaniels at 12:15 on 27/10/12

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