Communal Bins

Rubbish plan

Communal bins rubbish on Osborne Avenue back lane – Newcastle upon Tyne

High West Jesmond says NO to Communal Bins

At recent meetings of the High West Jesmond Residents’ Association, residents expressed their strong opposition to the council’s proposal to introduce communal bins in to the back lanes of High West Jesmond.

The main reasons for this opposition were as follows:

  • Loss of control over personal bin space for litter
  • Likely increase in fly tipping
  • Environmental blight in the back lanes
  • Cleanliness (nobody would be responsible for cleaning the bins)
  • Increased risk of intruders using the bins to break in to properties
  • Reduced access to properties from the rear lanes
  • Concern, especially from older residents, about having to go outside their
    house each time they want to put rubbish out.

From feedback received by High West Jesmond Residents’ Association (HWJRA) it’s clear that residents of High West Jesmond do not want communal bins imposed upon them.

95% of residents vote against communal bins

This has been further reflected in a recent poll organised by our East Gosforth ward councillors that showed 95% of High West Jesmond residents were AGAINST communal bins.

Despite the widespread opposition to the proposed introduction in High West Jesmond, Newcastle City Council has not yet announced a change of its unpopular plans.

Why is Newcastle City Council wanting communal bins?

Communal bins rubbish – Newcastle upon Tyne

The council’s stated rationale for introducing communal bins is cost saving – but from the infomation that we have been able to obtain we are led to believe that the actual cost savings would be minimal and the one-off costs of making the changes would outweigh the projected savings for some time.

You can read more about the reasons set out by Newcastle City Council for communal bins on their website.

Communal bins rubbish – Newcastle upon Tyne

‘where appropriate’

The Council says they will introduce them “where appropriate” but this is not clearly defined.

HWJRA does not believe communal bins are appropriate in High West Jesmond.

Communal bins rubbish – Newcastle upon Tyne

Appearance of streets

The Council says that communal bins will “Improve the appearance of those lanes where a large number of household bins are frequently left out”.

However there is evidence that this is not always the case and the following photograph shows one street with wheelie bins left out (perhaps on rubbish collection day?) where the Twitter user refers to the “tidy back lane”.

Tidy back lane of wheelie bins – image shared on Twitter by @MaryB5389

Newcastle City Council has requested that residents do not leave their wheelie bins out in the street or back lanes all the time – they should only be put out for rubbish collection day and then returned to the property or back yard.

We do recommend that High West Jesmond residents should follow this request by Newcastle City Council.


Newcastle streets with communal bins

Here is a selection of photographs from areas of Newcastle upon Tyne where communal bins have been introduced.

Communal bins rubbish – Newcastle upon Tyne
Communal bins rubbish – Newcastle upon Tyne
Communal bins rubbish – Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle residents’ images on social media

Social media also includes a number of different photographs shared by Newcastle upon Tyne residents  where communal bins have already been imposed and they have sufferred/are sufferring from issues associated with communal bins. Here is a selection of images recently shared by Twitter users:

Communal bins rubbish and contaminated recycling, Newcastle upon Tyne – shared on Twitter by @sulie4real
Communal bins rubbish, Newcastle upon Tyne – shared on Twitter by @68meerkat
Communal bins rubbish, Newcastle upon Tyne – shared on Twitter by @68meerkat

Sadly for some affected residents these are not isolated problems as the same Twitter user posted images showing Newcastle communal bin problems in June 2016:

Communal bins rubbish, Newcastle upon Tyne – shared on Twitter by @68meerkat

Even opposition councillors on Newcastle City Council have drawn attention to the ongoing problems of communal bins in Newcastle upon Tyne:

Communal bins rubbish, Newcastle upon Tyne – shared on Twitter by @CllrGarethKane

Council incurs additional costs due to contamination of recyclables

Newcastle City Council announced on 1 August 2017 that it was concerned at the increased contamination of recyclables.  Where contaminated items can no longer be sent for recycling this costs the council more money.

One of the problems with communal bins is that nobody “owns” the communal bins and this is likely to lead to increased problems with contamination of recyclables. (See Council looks to combat recycling contamination )

Council incurs additonal costs removing rubbish from streets with communal bins

In summer 2017 Newcastle City Council also drew attention to the fact that people were going through the rubbish for goods to sell on ebay and a short video was prepared to highlight the issue that has affected a number of streets in Newcastle upon Tyne where communal bins have been emptied and rubblish left all over the back lane by people searching to goods to sell on ebay.

Watch the video to hear Neil Parsons, a recycling wagon driver explain more about this Newcastle issue.

Newcastle City Council is looking for ideas from residents on how to tackle the problems of rubbish and has recently set up the Newcastle Waste Commission to consider this issue. You can read more on the Newcastle Waste Commission website.

HWJRA believes that communal bins are not the answer to the problems of increasing rubbish in Newcastle upon Tyne, particularly if recycling rates are impacted.

Councillors supported more communal bins at full council meeting in March 2017

The proposal for more communal bins was contained in the council budget 2017-18.

Whilst the stated budget savings from further communal bins was minimal in relation to the council budget as a whole, and it was not clear if the stated savings from communal bins included all of the associated additional costs, the council budget 2017-18 was passed by the full council.

During the full meeting of Newcastle City Council in March 2017 it was claimed by Cllr Avery that communal bins were “incredibly popular” with some residents, although that statement received tweets stating the opposite view from other Twitter users (see image below).

A news story in the Newcastle Chronicle also sets out residents opposition to communal bins (see ‘We don’t want them’ – Newcastle City Council taken to task over communal wheelie bin plans )

Communal bins “incredibly popular” states Cllr Avery, but other Twitter users diagree – Newcastle upon Tyne
There are concerns about the introduction of communal bins – Newcastle upon Tyne

At least residents concerns were noted during the debate, although sadly the full council meeting decided to proceed with more communal bins despite the clear ongoing issues which persist.

95% of High West Jesmond residents AGAINST communal bins

High West Jesmond Residents’ Association will continue to support the huge majority of residents who have expressed opposition to the communal bins proposal.

We have already represented residents views by regular contact with our local councillors, the leaders of Newcastle City Council as well as our MP for Newcastle upon Tyne North Catherine McKinnell. We look to all of them to listen and to represent the views of the vast majority of residents who do not want communal bins.

You can read more in the News pages – on the Categories side bar select Communal bins.