Residents in Exeter say they are appalled at the huge piles of rubbish which have mounted up during the Christmas and New Year period. Student areas have been the worst affected and the council withdrawing collections due to the bad weather has not helped.
Caroline Lee, is one of the worried residents, saying “I am afraid to let my children walk around some streets here because it is so disgusting. The students put out their rubbish before leaving for Christmas and the collection was cancelled so it has been there for nearly a month. Rats and seagulls have attacked the bags and there is rubbish strewn around the streets. It is an absolute disgrace – it’s like living in a Third World country.”
Some local residents have defended the students blaming the local council for not starting up rubbish collections as soon as the thaw started and also failing to inform people about when and what rubbish would be picked up. Local landlords with landlord insurance are also being blamed. Many believe it is a landlord’s responsibility to remove student rubbish if they are not around. Of course landlords are often unaware that students have left their homes and in some cases landlords are overseas and unable to respond to the situation themselves.
A statement on the council website says disruption had been caused by snow and all residents should stick to the scheduled collection dates. They also say that the cold weather is slowing decomposition of waste and any odours will be minimal. They also confirmed that any “side waste” left by the bin will be accepted on the next collection date if the bin is full.