Former councillor Peter Pringle has just one word for his old authority’s new brown bin system: “Rubbish.”
The Liberal-Democrat, who stood down after 12 years on Preston City Council in 2015, insists trying to pay the new annual fee to have green waste collected is driving residents up the garden path.
“I’ve tried registering online and also ringing up the Town Hall - and so far I haven’t managed either,” said Peter at home in Dunoon Close, Ingol. “It’s ridiculous. And I’m not the only one having problems.
“My local councillor has told me she’s been inundated with people ringing her up to complain.”
Preston Council introduced a £30 a year charge for garden waste collection in this year’s budget in an attempt to offset wide-ranging economies. The authority estimates it could raise £350,000 this year from the new charge and as much as £519,000 next year.
Keen gardener Peter says he has no problem with having to pay the fee, just the system for registering his brown bin for collection.
“The problem is we have quite a big garden and therefore we have plenty of green waste,” he explained. “I decided to register my bin, but it’s been an absolute nightmare.
“I got the leaflet on how to register and I got the website up, but it won’t recognise my address - even though it’s not a new street. And when I try to ring the number it’s either engaged or I get a recorded message saying they are very busy and to ring back later.”
Preston Council insist only a “small” number of people have encountered problems registering.
“Over 6,707 households have successfully registered for brown bin collection, with an average of 400 requests a day,” said a spokesperson.
“A small percentage have encountered minor difficulties, but the team have been working with them and helping them register.”