Maggots found in Sidmouth bin after three weeks with no collection

Joyce Waterhouse with her food bin. shs 26 17TI 6160. Picture: Terry Ife

Joyce Waterhouse with her food bin. shs 26 17TI 6160. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Maggots were found feeding on ‘rotting, stinking mess’ after food bins in Sidmouth were not emptied for the first three weeks of a new waste scheme.

An overflowing dog bin at the Knapp

An overflowing dog bin at the Knapp - Credit: Archant

The recent heatwave – which also beat down on ‘disgusting’ overflowing dog bins around the valley – worsened the situation and left 83-year-old Joyce Waterhouse ‘unable to cope’, so a relative took all her recycling to landfill.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) said the rollout to 51,000 homes was working well for 99 per cent of residents and asked people to ‘bear with us’.

Mrs Waterhouse, who has lived in Sidmouth since 2003, said: “The food bins at seven houses on Newtown had not been emptied for 22 days. The smell was atrocious.

“It is yet another example of our local council’s incompetence and inability to communicate with or control their sub-contractors.”

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Mrs Waterhouse’s son-in-law, Jeremy Woodward, addded: “I had to go and deal with it myself – a truly disgusting bin full of maggots feeding on the rotting, stinking mess. There is really no excuse for not collecting rotting food – not just the once, but over three consecutive weeks this month.

“EDDC were proud to announce how successful their [recycling] project had been in Exmouth and were therefore going to pan it out over the rest of the district, but in that case, how have they got it so wrong in parts of Sidmouth?”

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He said Newtown is a typical Sidmouth street, in that it features elderly residents and a number of holiday homes where rubbish is left on the assumption it will be collected.

Kay Bagwell was one of many people who complained about the overflowing dog bins – and even considered taking her pet’s waste to the authority’s Knowle HQ when the bin at the Knapp was not emptied.

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “The exceptionally high participation, the new round changes, a high rate of new container requests and the very warm weather has placed high demands on our contractor’s team, who are working hard to deliver the new service.

“Our contractor has introduced additional staff and vehicles over the last few days who are now working on a small number of missed collections and additional container deliveries.

“We would ask people to please bear with us as we work to restore the great standard of service our customers usually enjoy.

“We apologise for the disruption this has caused to a small number of our customers affected by these problems.”

She said the same issues caused problems with the dog bin rounds, but this should be resolved this week.

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