‘Positive’ report met with derision online

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Lofty claims for the success and acceptability of Banbridge council’s black bin scheme have been met with derision on social media, where the Bin Action Group went as far as to call on councillors to resign.

That call came from the group’s Paul Scappaticci, who described as “laughable” a council-commissioned evaluation, based, he said, on only 400 of 14,000 households affected.

“The surveys that were done by the DUP and Bin Action Group had approximately 1,000 and 2,100 opinions respectively,” he said, “the overwhelming majority of them against this scheme, yet the council chose to ignore them in favour of this totally inadequate attempt of a survey and wasting public money in the process.

“I noticed that a lot of the questions were around recycling and while we are all committed to recycling this is not the issue. . ..

“In the Bin Action Group our opposition is to having four weeks worth of putrid rubbish sitting outside our house, not with recycling.”

The response was typical of comments posted on the council’s Facebook page in answer to survey results and associated comments posted by the local authority.

Heather Roadknight said: “And how come your findings seem to show this trial in a positive light but a survey done by the DUP and the bin action group show a completely different outcome?”

Said Alison Norton: “If this is the survey which was done by someone checking and recording what was in the bins I hope you also take into account the increased use of local dumps. I’ve had to take stuff to dump too many times now. Haven’t heard one good word from anyone about this trial so don’t understand how it could be a positive report. How many households did actually take part in the survey and how many opinions were sought for it? I know I wasn’t given the chance to partake. Was anyone else?”

Rachel McCrory, Carol Cannaway, Allison Harrison and Lauren Crossley all commented on the need, apparently out of step with survey results, to take excess rubbish to the dump, this despite extensive recycling.

Said Lauren: “I made yet another trip to the dump yesterday to dump 10 black bin bags because the bin men didn’t lift my black bin as it was obviously overflowing having built up for four weeks, and I already had rubbish waiting to put into the bin had it been emptied. I recycle. I have no issue with recycling but with three small children and a large dog in my household I cannot cope with the four weekly rota for black bins without making trips to the dump myself. And I honestly do not see why I should be having to make these dump runs when the refuse collection service is supposedly provided for within our rates?”

“Very positive evaluation results’ What planet are you living on?” asked Justin Hillen. “This is an utter disgrace.”

Banbridge Council itself posted a response to all concerned. Among other things it said: “There are those that may disagree or dislike the results of the findings however this survey was taken by an independent and impartial professional service provider using tried and tested methods for the accurate gathering and collation of information. For the council to undertake their own survey could lead to some offering accusations of bias so the use of a third party is the most transparent, accurate and fair method the council could employ and in doing so are happy to share their findings with both the media and the public.”