Ultra-slim bin lorry to save the day after bad parking saw Reading streets plagued with rubbish

Some residents were left with uncollected rubbish for several weeks. Credit: Will Cross

A new ultra-slim bin lorry is due to spring into action after some roads in part of Reading were left plagued with rubbish, when the current fleet were unable to make it through the street because of poor parking.

Neighbours raised concerns in an area of East Reading after not having their bins collected, including one street missing out for eight weeks on one occasion.

The problem is particularly stark in Blenheim Gardens, Cardigan Road, and Hatherly Road in Redlands, Hill Street in Katesgrove and Foxglove Gardens closer to the town centre.

Neighbours in Foxglove Gardens suffered eight weeks of missed general waste collections and residents in Hill Street suffered two weeks of missed collections.

Although the council's current fleet can make it through the streets on a good day, they cannot when vehicles are poorly parked, leading to missed collections.

Therefore, the council has been investigating buying an ultra narrow bin lorry that can get through the streets easier.

Originally, a bin lorry was meant to be added to the fleet in September, but now is set to hit the streets on Tuesday, April 4.

The new ultra slim bin lorry will be able to travel down narrow streets more easily Credit: Will Cross

Councillor Karen Rowland said: "We've been able to secure one lorry, the order had been put in, someone else had ordered one but they cancelled theirs for whatever reason and we've been able to move up the waiting list, so our vehicles will be ready earlier than expected.

"We in the Labour Party have been working on this for quite a number of years, including a number of my predecessors and we were able to find the right vehicle at the right price so we've finally been able to land it.

"Me and my predecessors have worked our backsides off to finally get the right combination for it to work.

"I'm pleased for everyone of the residents who will be able to get their rubbish picked up on the day it's promised."

The issue was raised by councillor Will Cross (Labour, Redlands)at a full council meeting on Tuesday, 28 February.

It's hoped the new lorry will be hitting streets sooner than expected Credit: Will Cross

Cllr Cross said: "Residents regularly raise bin issues with me, and since being elected I have been pushing for solutions.

"I invited Cllr Rowland to Redlands to see these issues first-hand, and following my campaign I am delighted that the Council has agreed to introduce a narrow bin vehicle, as well as trialling a new approach to bins left on pavements in certain streets in the student area."

The council is also looking at the possibility of bin crews returning bins into the boundary of homes on narrow streets to improve accessibility for wheelchair-bound and elderly neighbours.

However, cllr Rowland stated that returning bins to home boundaries are primarily the responsibility of occupants, and having bin crews return the bins in more streets could lead to collection delays.

Cllr David McElroy (Green, Redlands) has raised the issue of uncollected bins as well, with the Greens submitted a petition calling for a narrow bin lorry receiving 47 signatures.

At the time, the petition stated: "Many times the lorry which collects waste from the grey and red bins has not been able to access some of the narrower roads in Redlands. This has meant bins haven't been emptied and caused all sorts of waste-related problems.

"The food waste collection uses a smaller vehicle and is able to access narrower roads with greater ease.

"Please sign the petition for a smaller bin lorry to make sure grey and red bins are collected."

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