Collection wrangle leaves residents lumbered with waste

UNHAPPY Sidmouth resident were left lumbered with bags of garden waste after a service they paid to dispose of the waste failed to do so.

Homeowners in Regency Gate grew frustrated when they then tried to contact Otter Rotters to be greeted with a recorded message stating its last collection of the year had been cancelled due to bad weather.

The scheduled pick-up should have taken place last Wednesday - three days after flooding.

Pensioner Pat Roberts, who was left with 10 sacks of waste, said on Monday: “I’m 84 and that’s the reason I can’t lump these things down to the recycling centre. We aren’t the only ones, there are bags of garden refuse all over the place.”

Mr Roberts, who had already paid for the scrapped collection, said he would have to pay for someone to take the bags away.

He described the cancellation as ‘a nonsense’ as normal rubbish and recycling was been picked up.

East Devon District Council has a contractual arrangement with Otter Rotters for collection of garden waste from homes that opt into the service. Customers pay an extra charge of �1.25 per bag.

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A council spokesman said the service closes down for winter at the end of November and that flooding disrupted the final collection.

He added the contractors did not call back to some homes to pick up the missed bags - but had agreed to collect from the Sidmouth properties in question.

The spokesman said that Otter Rotters has a duty of care to their learning disabled crew during severe weather.

He also highlighted the contractors’ track record and dedication to completing rounds during ‘appalling’ conditions on occasions.

“Before next season EDDC officers will meet with Otter Rotters to ensure a robust programme of collections to avoid any future re-occurrence of the recent incident,” added the spokesman.