Is your bin festering this summer?

HAVE your bins been festering in the heat? Is your rubbish crawling with maggots this summer?

HAVE your bins been festering in the heat? Is your rubbish crawling with maggots this summer?

It's driven one Ipswich mum to campaign for more refuse collections, so today JAMES MARSTON finds out how to keep the dreaded bugs at bay.

CORAL Partridge recycles much of her rubbish.

She takes bottles to the bottle bank, fills her blue wheelie bin with the right rubbish, she does her bit.


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But the mum-of-two will always have some rubbish in her domestic black wheelie bin - it's a fact of life. She said: “I never have an overflowing bin and I recycle as much as I can. I am conscious about waste but I do make domestic rubbish.”

As temperatures in recent weeks soared, Coral, from Johnson Close, Ipswich began to notice an unpleasant problem. She said: “There was putrefied food in my bin and it was full of maggots. It was absolutely disgusting.”

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Coral's wasn't the only bin in Ipswich which was causing what she describes as a “terrible stench”.

She added: “In our road, no one wants to go anywhere near the bins. I've got two children and a lot of the children in the close play near the bins. I was worried that the bins were becoming a health hazard.”

She said: “Part of the problem was the bins were not being emptied properly, which wasn't very satisfactory. I pay for my bins to be cleaned once a month but there is not much point if they are not being emptied properly.

“From a health point of view it would be more sensible if the domestic rubbish bins could be emptied once a week instead of once a fortnight during the hot weeks.”

After she filed a complaint, the council organised an extra collection for Coral to empty her maggot infested bin. She said: “I asked for an extra collection. To have waited a further two weeks would have been awful. The stench was terrible when you walked past.”

Coral said she is not the only person to have suffered the problem of maggots.

She said: “Other bins have the same problem. I'd like more advice on how to keep the maggots at bay.”

Barbara Moss-Taylor, waste development manager, for Ipswich Borough Council, said help is at hand for those concerned about maggot infestation.

She said: “First and foremost if people ask for advice we have to officers available to go out and visit people and anyone can take up that offer. You can get maggots in a very short space of time. The warm weather speeds up the body processes of flies and we wouldn't be surprised if people did notice maggots in their rubbish in the summer months.”

Flies can carry disease, and Mrs Moss-Taylor said flies like moist conditions in which to lay their eggs.

She said: “If you do get maggots, direct sunlight can dry them out. The best thing is to gather them up, seal them in a bag so they can't get out and put them back in the bin. That way they won't survive.”

The message from the council's waste development section is 'prevention is better than cure'.

Mrs Moss-Taylor said: “We have had reports of households saying they have got maggots but they are fairly isolated. First of all keep your bin clean. You have to make sure rubbish is wrapped and sealed. The fly is looking for somewhere its larvae can feed on like moist foodstuffs, there isn't one particular food they like.”

The council has ruled out the extra collections of black bin domestic rubbish.

Mrs Moss-Taylor said: “Councillors did discuss extra collections inn hot weather over a year ago. There are, however, two difficulties.

“Where there is a weekly collection recycling falls by 14per cent. If the amount of rubbish recycled falls and Suffolk County Council miss the targets set by central government they are fined £150 for every ton of rubbish over the target. That bill would run into millions of pounds across the county. The other difficulty is the amount of extra vehicles and staff you would need. The costs involved are very high. So at the moment there are no plans to change collections.

She added: “In Ipswich there is widespread satisfaction with the scheme and Ipswich recycles 36.5 pc of its rubbish making it one of the top performers in the country. In 2000-2001 that figure was just 7pc. We have found that with proper guidance you can manage the current system.”

Would you like advice from the waste development team? Call 01473 432983.

Cover waste food and make sure moist or food waste is wrapped and securely sealed.

Recycle as much as you can.

Keep your bin on level ground and keep the lid closed.

Wrap carefully anything smelly-flies are attracted by smell.

Use reusable nappies.

Waste less food-about one third of all food is wasted.

Vegetable peelings can go in your brown bin.

If possible store away from direct sunlight.

Do not leave waste food uncovered in the kitchen.

Source: Ipswich Borough Council waste development section.

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