Page last updated at 09:11 GMT, Saturday, 16 January 2010

Extra bin collections after snow

Rubbish bags pile up in Llanfynydd, Carmarthenshire
Rubbish bags in Llanfynydd, Carmarthenshire, after snow delays

Extra refuse collections are being made in parts of Wales this weekend to clear the backlog of rubbish and recycling not collected because of snow.

Some areas in Wales have not had bin collections for up to three weeks.

The Welsh Local Government Association said councils had to consider the safety of its workers and the public.

But Stuart Davies, a former deputy leader of Denbighshire council, said he did not believe enough effort had been made to reach some areas.

The ex-councillor said around 20 families in his street on a hillside in Llangollen had not had their rubbish collected since before Christmas.

"Animals have been getting into the bags and there's bits and pieces on my driveway. There's food still in these bags from Christmas," he said.

Rubbish in the snow in Llangollen
Where a four wheel drive Land Rover might get up the road, a refuse cart might not and there are health and safety issues
Jeff Jones, local government consultant

"I understand that the big refuse lorries cannot make it up our street in these conditions but the smaller transit van-style vehicles could.

"My wife and I and all our neighbours plan ahead in the snow. We have gritted the road and cleared it with our spades and have managed to get to work - why can't the council make the same effort?"

However, Denbighshire council said it had attempted to collect much of the rubbish on the street on foot earlier this week.

Elsewhere, the Reverend John Keysell said people in Abertillery, Blaenau Gwent, had also been waiting since before Christmas for their bins to be collected.

"If the council gritted the roads it would be easier for everybody and for the refuse lorries to get up there," he said.

'Too dangerous'

But Jeff Jones, a former leader of Bridgend council who is now a local government consultant, said there were more issues to be considered than simply vehicle access and gritting roads.

"A lot of the refuse in many local authorities is still taken to landfill sites," he said.

"A few years back in Bridgend we had a real problem because of issues in the Swansea valley.

"The road to the landfill site was too dangerous for the refuse lorries with them backing up and that effected collections.

"You are driving a very very heavy vehicle. Where a four wheel drive Land Rover might get up the road, a refuse cart might not and there are health and safety issues."

The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) said that councils had to consider the health and safety of their drivers, crews and and the general public.

It said refuse vehicles are huge machines that cannot get to certain areas.

A number of local authorities, including Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Cardiff, will attempt to clear the backlog over the weekend.

In Carmarthenshire, crews are double shifting all week to collect blue and black bags wherever possible.

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