Calls for action after Bristol students' rubbish 'left to fester'
STUDENTS who can't be bothered to sort their rubbish for recycling are being blamed for an increase in rats and foxes in Horfield.
A fed-up resident is calling for a crackdown on households which leave waste unsorted and overflowing and landlords who fail to ensure their tenants follow the rules.
He is also calling on council contractors to clear unsorted rubbish which is being left to fester in Ashgrove Road.
Anthony Male says the unsorted rubbish left in front of houses is attracting rats and foxes to the area.
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He believes city council waste contractors May Gurney should clear the mess – and the council should clamp down on those responsible.
The council has insisted it is working to educate students about waste collections and warned fines could be issued to the worst offenders.
Mr Male, 47, a sales manager, said the transient student houses and lack of direction on waste disposal has led to the problems. He said: "If you are a house owner, you take care to know what the rules and regulations are. Of course some tenants just don't know and don't care and don't worry about it. When rubbish is not taken and left on the street, people don't understand why it has been left. In this case there were no notes left or enforcement notices to encourage people to do it properly."
Mr Male said the council needed to ensure all residents were up to date on how to meet the latest recycling rules and ensure enforcement powers had caught up with them.
He said: "The council are trying so hard to be responsible for the city's waste but not ensuring residents know what's going on."
Mr Male said he believed more responsibility need to be placed on landlords, who often neglected their properties after securing tenants.
He said: "I think you can't hold tenants responsible because the city is too transient, so there's a lack of duty for where some people live.
"The duty should rest on the landlords – they are taking the money but not taking care of the property in some instances. This problem with rubbish is not going away and the only answer is to pass responsibility on to the landlords, so they will be liable for the penalties."
May Gurney spokeswoman Kirsty Brain said only the council could enforce penalties. The company does not collect bins left outside black containers or recycled rubbish not properly separated.
Council spokesman Peter Wood said: "Bristol City Council's private housing team works very closely with the city universities to try and ensure students are aware of aware of their responsibilities as good neighbours, by providing information on a range of issues including noise, waste collection and recycling.
"When a situation arises where there are problems with waste being left on the property, we can, and do, if necessary, take action against the landlord.
"However, when a problem, as here, is caused by waste being left on the street it will first be investigated by waste services, who will establish whether or not the household has a waste bin and a recycling box.
"If they do, Streetscene officers will go and assess the situation and, if appropriate, issued a fixed penalty notice. Bristol City Council takes the issue of public health and of nuisance very seriously and we will act where we are aware of anti-social behaviour."