Residents 'wading through rubbish' after waste collection changes

Rubbish piled up on Olive Street in Aberavon, residents say the street has become a constant mess after the pick up point for waste was changed   Photographer: Katie Jones.   No credit needed
-Credit: (Image: Copyright Unknown)

Residents in Aberavon say they have been "going through hell" with waste collection issues since the place they were told to put out their rubbish and recycling was changed earlier this year. People in Olive Street said they have faced days of rubbish being strewn all over the roads and pavements after bin collection day, with seagulls tearing open bags on the terraced street near to the beach-front.

Others claimed that the long-term issue had become increasingly worse since the collection point was changed from the back lanes of the properties to the front pavements earlier this year. Katie Jones has lived on the street for a little over three years now and said residents want to see a change to the collection points in order to save them "wading" through rubbish on their own doorsteps every week.

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She said: "There were always problems with having the bins out in the back lanes of the houses because we never had wheelie bins which led to seagulls and other animals tearing through the bags. The council decided it had become a health and safety hazard to have the rubbish collected from the back so we had to bring it through to the front of the house to be picked up, but that's just moved the problem from one place to another.

"At the moment it's completely filthy out there on collection days with children, adults, wheelchairs and prams all having to tip-toe around rubbish just to get down the street. It's making our lives hell as we don't want to be in an area full of rubbish like this when it's no fault of our own.

"For us we'd like to see the collection point moved to the back lanes again with residents given wheelie bins to make sure the bags are secured from any animals such as seagulls trying to get to them. It's a simple way to solve the problem and we hope the council will listen to us. "

Terry Peterson also lives in Olive street in his home of 56 years and added: "The biggest issues are having to move the rubbish bags from the front of the houses to the back. Out the back there are less people having to walk through so there is much less risk of falling over the bags and it's much more out of sight as well.

"Since we've started taking them to the front over the last few months it's gone to look terrible. We're having to go out and litter pick for ourselves and people are even having to walk out in the road to avoid walking through rubbish. We have raised our concerns but so far nothing has been done."

A Neath Port Talbot Council spokesperson said the collection point needed to be changed due to waste being dumped "indiscriminately". However they also added that a wheeled bin could be provided for residents moving forward.

They said: "A front of house collection system has been operated in Olive Street since January, 2024, as previously the rear lane was presenting a health and safety issue due to waste being dumped indiscriminately. Not only did this present a health issue it diverted cleansing and collection crews from other areas.

"The council tried a number of initiatives to address the problems but the front of house collection has led to an improved situation. The council can provide a wheeled bin for waste storage and presentation, which will be labelled with the house number.

"Residents are responsible for placing and removing their bin from the highway at the front of their house. The bins should not be left out between collections. Alternatively the council can provide black bags.

"Naturally, seagulls and other animals are particularly attracted to food waste and the council provides lockable food waste bins for residents to place out for collection. We would appeal to any residents who see dumped waste to contact us. We would also appeal to our residents to use their food waste bins to recycle their food waste." For the latest Neath Port Talbot news sign up to our newsletter here.