HURRICANE Hannah left Llanelli black and blue over the weekend.
Parts of the town lost electricity for hours early on Saturday morning causing the blackness. This was quickly rectified by Western Power. But uncollected blue refuse bags cast to the 70mph winds has turned the air and the streets blue and the problem is still unresolved approaching its fourth day.
Residents have taken to social media over the refuse mess up.
Jeff Moore in Corporation Avenue said their normal Friday collection was knocked on to Saturday because of the Bank Holiday week but the refuse wagons only got the end of the road and turned away leaving piles of bags.
He said: Some residents managed to get their bags in but Hurricane Hannah got hold of many before they could be retrieved and they have been scattered all over the streets like Maestir and Maesyrhaf. Contents from split bags have taken to the wind to decorate the town.”
“It is a sorry sight driving round this weekend. Llanerch was not the only area affected.
“Bigyn, Penyfan and the streets around the main shopping centre such as Pottery Street are in a sorry mess too with scatted blue bags being exploded by cars coming into contact with them as they blow around in the wind.
“Surely the council has to be accountable and guilty of pollution by dereliction of duty?
“The council spot fine people £70 for discarding a fag butt. Through their inadequacy we have got tonnes of crap flying about. Where’s the justice?
“And to make things worse you can’t get hold of anyone living on the phone until Monday morning other than an answer message. Their lines will be jammed on Monday.”
In Cefncaeau Eric Walker suggested the council collections had gone to pot since they made refuse collection changes in the last few months. “We did not see anyone on Saturday when they should have come. I have been up and down the street collecting bales of blue bags. There are too many to take in and I don’t know whose are whose because they have blown in from everywhere,” he said.
Areas across the U.K. and Ireland were hit by the ferocious storm with many local authorities struggling to cope with conditions and thousands of people having their electricity supplies cut off. Numerous trees came down in the gale force winds causing extensive damage. The emergency services and utility companies worked tirelessly to clear up and restore power.
We contacted Carmarthenshire county council to ask why the bags were left over the easter weekend period. We asked if there were not a case for some form of central drop off point at times like these and whether given the high levels of unemployment there were not a case for using temporary employees or paying existing staff additional hours to cover the holiday periods. We put it to them that this might be less expensive in the long run than what the cost will be for clearing up the almighty mess caused over Easter.
Ainsley Williams, Head of Waste and Environmental Services, said: “Unfortunately we were unable to complete collections in some areas on Saturday, but the majority of collections took place as planned. We had a full rota of staff to cover the collections that were scheduled a day later than usual due to the bank holiday last Monday. We will be working to catch up on all missed collections and street cleansing will take place as part of routine operation and maintenance, so there will be no additional cost. We apologise to any residents affected, but thank everyone for their continued efforts to recycle as much as possible.”
Residents took to the council’s Facebook page to complain but there does not seem to be any official response on there.
One asked: “Hi… could you please advise & respond, explaining why rubbish has not been collected AGAIN from the morfa area? Normal collection day is a Thursday, but due to the Bank Holiday, it was on a Friday. It is now Saturday afternoon & still no sign of rubbish being collected! Our collection days haven’t changed. Blue bags are now blown all the over the lane!”Local councillor Sean Rees also attempted to get some answers. He wrote: