explosive-art-1434120503Bristol’s time as European Green Capital is not going at all well when it comes to the cleanliness of the city’s streets.

Even before the start of Green Capital year, Bristol had an unenviable reputation as the dirtiest place in the West of England. Government statistics reveal that in 2013/14, 10,472 incidents of fly-tipping were reported to Shitty Hall. This compares with 1,258 over the same period for South Gloucestershire and a mere 413 for Bath & NE Somerset.

Things haven’t improved much with the advent of the elite greenwash bunfight either. While the city’s great and good slap each others’ backs over their pretended environmental credentials, Bristolians from Lawrence Hill to Lawrence Weston are complaining about unacceptable levels of litter and fly-tipping in their areas.

But it’s not just in north Bristol that the locals are concerned about filth on the streets and the city in general. South of the Avon too, residents are complaining that fly-tipping is being made worse by the lack of a household waste recycling centre in Hartcliffe. The main reason there isn’t one is that the proposal that is being opposed by Mayor George Ferguson.

Presumably he thinks it’s acceptable for people in south Bristol to drive miles across the city to Avonmouth or St Philips, adding to the city’s congestion and pollution? Nice one George!

And when it does take action against litter louts and fly-tippers, there’s only one word to describe the council’s response – pathetic. Since 2010 only 120 people have been fined or taken to court by the city council for dropping litter, while in the BS5 area – one of the city’s hotspots – enforcement action has been taken against only 32 people.

This low level of enforcement is due to one major reason: council staff cuts. Before 2010 Bristol had a complement of 10 so-called ‘streetscene enforcement officers’ to deal with fly-tipping, litter, fly-posting, dog fouling and other such banes of modern urban living. These 10 officers were assisted in their work by 2 technical support/admin staff and a streetscene enforcement manager whose only other remit was to manage 3 dog wardens.

Following the 2010 general election and George Ferguson’s election as mayor the city was promised “no cuts to frontline services”. Yet the streetscene enforcement team has since consistently lost staff and no replacements recruited. The team is now down to 4.7 officers only and managed by a man with no knowledge of environmental legislation or how to investigate and prosecute a case.

Is it any wonder that reported fly-tips in the city more than doubled over the period in which the team has been more than halved?

The word from the streets is that this situation is unlikely to improve in the near future. Since August waste management and street cleansing have been taken back in house after Kier/May Gurney walked away from their contract with the council pleading lack of profitability despite doing a crap job and BCC never penalising them for doing so.

4 thoughts on “NOT CLEAN, NOT GREEN

  1. Stoaty Blinder

    My street looks at its worst when it comes to litter immediately after the Bristol City Council careless rubbish and recycling collections. I guess the irony will be lost on the cretins in Shitty Hall.

  2. Lynne

    I take recycling very seriously yet I dread collection days because rubbish is strewn all over the street and I have to sort through a jumble of carelessly tossed bins afterwards in order to find my own.
    Why is recycling made so difficult in Bristol? I had a huge argument with the recycling centre in St Philips when my sons and their friends tidied my garden. They took the rubbish to the centre in a van which was logical instead of making several journeys by car and were turned away because they were ‘assumed’ to be a business! (I won the argument in the end).
    There is a brilliant recycling centre in Devon, very well run and they make lots of money because they sort through the goods thoroughly and have an on site recycled goods shop and an on site Pat Tester for electrical goods, all for sale to the public at very reasonable prices. As a consequence most of the so-called ‘rubbish’ is actually recycled which is what it’s all about surely?

  3. Lee Nazca

    Yes Stoaty, I’ve noticed this too, the amount of rubbish they create on the street is ridiculous. It looks worse after they have been.

    The Green Capital award is about money, grants, illusion and ego.


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