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‘Why Didn’t You Tell Us About New Recycling Bins?’ Say Frustrated Residents

Published on: 14 May, 2014
Updated on: 14 May, 2014

New steel recycling bins for unwanted clothes that have appeared in the Westborough ward of Guildford have left residents frustrated over their siting and lack of prior consultation.

One of the recycling bins that has been placed in Park Barn.

One of the recycling bins that has been placed in Park Barn.

Although the idea of the bins, an initiative by the British Heart Foundation, the University of Surrey and Guildford Borough Council, has been broadly welcomed by residents, they are extremely upset. They say that the bins have been sited in unsuitable locations and wish that they had been asked their opinion of them beforehand.

The red and white bins are aimed mainly for students who live in the area. The recycling scheme has been designed to help them dispose of unwanted items in a sensible way when they finish their academic year this summer and then move on.

At an open meeting of the Park Barn & Westborough Community Association on Tuesday evening (May 13), ward councillor Julia McShane (Lib Dem) said that in her three years as a councillor on Guildford Borough Council she had not received as many calls on any other single issue as she had over the bins during the last few days.

One bin was dropped off on a grass area of Park Barn near Kings College, one at the junction of Park Barn Drive and Park Barn East, with another at the top of Northway near the junction with Shepherds Lane.

Mrs McShane said: “Of course we are in favour of recycling and ways that will prevent rubbish on our streets. It appears there has been a lack of communication here. I have learned that there is going to be a big campaign on the University of Surrey campus informing students of the bins, plus leaflets and the distribution of plastic bags into which they can put their unwanted clothes and so on, before placing them in the bins. But the bins have appeared before any of this has been put in place. The bins are in a terrible position.”

She said that she wished those behind the scheme had spoken to the community first, adding that by encouraging people to be involved in their community makes for a better one.

“We are not happy that no one was told about this – the ward councillors, local residents or the community association.”

Her husband, Wayne McShane, who is the chairman of the Park Barn & Westborough Community Association, told the meeting that the association had made a representation over the bins on three main points.

Firstly they should be sited in safer positions, ie not by roads where there are double yellow lines; secondly, where they are they are likely to be a focus for other rubbish dumped around them; and thirdly, there is a safety issue where they are at present of people climbing on the bins.

Following Mrs McShane’s complaints this week on behalf of residents, the bin near Kings College has now been removed.

The bins will be in position for the next six to eight weeks and will then be taken away, said Mr McShane, who added that similar bins are being sited on the university campus. He also said that he understood that there were suggestions for bins to be positioned in other parts of Guildford, but after consultation that did take place in those parts residents declined to have them.

The Park Barn & Westborough Community Association is a supporter of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) at a local level. Members of the association ran the tombola stall at Safeguard Buses’ 90th anniversary celebrations in March, with the funds raised going to the BHF and to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The chairman of the Guildford and Godalming branch of the BHF, Shirley West, said had not been given prior warning about the bins. Her role is that of fundraising, but she said she feels sorry for the distress the siting of the bins have been for local residents.

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Responses to ‘Why Didn’t You Tell Us About New Recycling Bins?’ Say Frustrated Residents

  1. Gillian James Reply

    May 19, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    As the Dragon article reports many residents are upset about the siting of these collection banks.

    In response to my e-mail questions to three local councillors, Julia McShane has been the only one to reply to date.

    Mrs McShane has confirmed she was unaware of the siting of the collection banks until after it had happened and that GBC are deferring any decision about removing/re-siting the bins for a few weeks. This probably means that any heat will die down and the bins will stay unless we register our protests.

    If you feel they should be removed and re-sited in more appropriate locations, I urge you complete the complaints/comments form on Guildford Borough Council’s website: and feedback

  2. Raineee Wornham Reply

    May 19, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    The monstrosity at the top of Northway should of never been put there without consultation with residents.

    The junction with Northway and Shepherds Lane struggles with the heavy flow of traffic as it is, so the lorry that dropped the bin off must have blocked the junction. It will do so again when it arrives to collect the monstrosity.

    The collection van to empty the bin has already blocked the junction today. So will any cars driven by people who come along to use it.

    The small car park at the top of Northway is for residents of Woolsack Court, not for the use of people coming to drop off their rubbish.

    The bin is next door to flats for the disabled and elderly, the council did not consider anyone when they gave the go ahead for these monstrosities to be placed.

    Considering Northway has not got a student population (they mostly live in Canterbury Road and the area locally known as the cathedral City), why wasn’t the monstrosity put in that area? Maybe because the area is all private homes.

    Other areas managed to refuse these bins, so why couldn’t we? The answer has not been given, nor have I had a reply to my complaint to the council via its web page.

    These monstrosities are an invitation for fly tipping etc, and that is the reason why Tesco refused to have them.

    How many students are going to be prepared to walk all the way to the top of Northway to use the bin? Not many I am sure.

    We have a local charity shop nearby on Worplesdon Road, that I know local people support. Did anyone consider them when they dumped these in our area!

    They will be here for another six weeks. Will they be back? We will never know until they turn up again.

  3. Fiona White Reply

    May 20, 2014 at 7:01 am

    I was in Northway yesterday when a white vehicle was collecting from the red bin. The driver had parked on double-yellow lines and had blocked the sight-line at the junction. As I was pulling out, a driver was turning in from Shepherds Lane and neither of us could see the other clearly until we were committed to the movement.

    Also, like Rainee Wornham, I had complained on the borough council’s website and have not had any response.

    I think this scheme was started with the best of intentions but has not been well thought through. At the least, I hope that those collecting from the red bin will be a bit more careful about where they stop in future.

  4. Brian Holt Reply

    May 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I fully agree with Raineee Wornham’s concerns about road safety at the junction of Northway and Shepherds Lane.

    How did Guildford Borough Council’s cleansing department ever allow this to happen because the Highway Code clearly states it is an offence to stop or park within 10 metres of any road junction?

    At noon on Monday (My 19) a white van was parked on the pavement right on the corner of the junction for 30 minutes emptying the bin. A police van turning left from Shepherds Lane into Northway had to go slow because the driver could not see round the parked van.

    The police should have stop and warned the driver of how dangerous it was. No one at the council or the university want to know because the bins are not going to be removed immediately.

    At a meeting last night when I raise this issue of the dangerous locations these bins have been placed on corner of road junctions, I was told by a member of Guildford Borough Council that all councillors had been told first, and had a chance to object to having them in their area.

    I had to point out that Westborough Ward councillors did not know, along with the Westborough & Park Barn Community Association.

    These bins are here for 12 weeks until the end of July, and not for the six to eight weeks as promised. They are suppose to be for university students to use,so why put them outside Woolsack Court flats which are for the elderly and disabled, when at the Aldershot Road end of Southway there are at least eight houses that have the sign boards stating they are students’ accommodation, this is where one should have been placed.

    The university should not interfere or have a say as to what it wants placed in our residential areas.

    Residents need to complain to both Guildford Borough Council and the university or otherwise it will happen again, or they could even leave them there permanently.

  5. Brian Holt Reply

    May 21, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Thank you to Surrey County Councillor Fiona White for pointing out how dangerous the Northway and Shepherds Lane junction is when vehicles are parked there emptying the recycling bin.

    After the last crash there [before the bin was installed] when a car ended up going through a wall and into a house, I am very surprise that no one is doing anything about it.

    I see that Guildford MP Anne Milton supports the recycling scheme. Is there a bin outside her house, or in her road, for her neighbours? I don’t think Merrow would have them.

  6. Brian Holt Reply

    May 23, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Why is it taking Guildford Borough Council’s complaints office,The British Heart Foundation, and the University of Surrey Students’ Union, so long to answer and reply to everyone’s complaints?

    We know they have had a lot, it must be hundreds to take this long.

    The longer this goes on and the bin remains on the corner of the Northway and Shepherds Lane, more people will stop supporting the British Heart Foundation, as we are fed up of how they are treating residents in this area.

    This scheme will backfire on them, and will lose them support.

    Action is needed by answering complaints and removing this bin now.

  7. Peter Morris Reply

    May 23, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    There have already been several near misses caused by the donation bin at Northway / Shepherds Lane. I cannot believe they sited a bin at this junction – it’s a matter of when not if there is an accident.

    Seems like the council are trying to ‘ride out the storm’. Perhaps the council will only do something when someone is badly hurt and begins legal action against the council before they remove it.

    These bins should be sited at the University or in supermarket car parks where people can park safely and not put residents at risk.

    I’m sure the British Heart Foundation would hate a death or injury on their hands for the sake of inept location of their ‘student’ bin at Northway / Shepherds Lane.

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