Serious cases of overflowing bins and flytipping have been spotted in East Reading recently.

In Blenheim Road, a residential street popular with students, bins could be seen overflowing, with black waste bags dumped next to them.

Some of the overflowing bins have begun to smell and a rat has been spotted in the street in the past.

The issue has also been pointed out by councillor Will Cross (Labour, Redlands), who visited the area last Sunday (July 3).

Reading Chronicle: Councillor Will Cross (Labour, Redlands) visited university area last Sunday to survey the rubbish. Credit: Will Cross, Reading Labour

Not far away at the bottle bank in Erleigh Road, a huge amount of flytipping was found.

The incidents of overflowing bins and flytipping have prompted questions over the council’s decision to reduce bin sizes last year, but also what steps the university is taking to encourage responsible waste disposal.

Reading Chronicle: Large amounts of rubbish dumped at the bottle bank in Erleigh Road, East Reading. Credit: James Aldridge, Local Democracy Reporting Service

According to the Love Clean Reading app, the flytipping was cleared on Tuesday, July 5.

The council has encouraged incidents to be reported via the app.

Although the council is considering installing CCTV to ward of flytipping at bottle banks, the site in Erleigh Road has not been identified so far.

Black bins dumped on the street is being treated as flytipping, which the council can prosecute and dish out fines if evidence is found.

Reading Chronicle: The rubbish dumped in Blenheim Road, East Reading. Credit: James Aldridge, Local Democracy Reporting Service

On the issue of bin sizes, a council spokesperson stated that the 140 litre bins it issued last year is “sufficient” for the majority of homes with four adults.

Houses which are registered as HMOs have a larger 240 litre bin.

Any extra rubbish from that is the responsibility of the landlord to arrange disposal.

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Cllr Karen Rowland (Labour, Abbey), lead for environmental services and community safety, said:  “The state of affairs in some of the student streets at the end of term is unacceptable, but the Council is eager to continue the already positive work that has been undertaken with the University to reduce and significantly minimise this perennial problem.

“During most of the year, recycling and bin sizes are sufficient for most houses, however,  the situation is always exacerbated at moving out time.

 “Due to new students arriving every year, instruction on waste management constantly has to be re-enforced.  

Reading Chronicle: Councillors Will Cross (Labour, Redlands) and Karen Rowland (Labour, Abbey) survey the waste in East Reading. Credit: Will Cross, Reading Labour

“Where there are consistent issues with a property, officers are happy to review the house as soon as a problem appears to see if alternate methods can be taken to deal with any overflow.

“In some cases students move into an uncleaned property with no instruction for rubbish the next day after the previous tenants have left.  

“We are looking to address this issue with landlords and agents, to ensure that new tenants arrive to a clean property, without rubbish from prior tenants.”

Cllr Rowland added the council is exploring how to encourage students, to re-use, recycle and take account of the climate emergency – particularly by reducing the disposal of clothes, kitchenware and furniture.

Her team is also investigating how to ensure pavements aren’t blocked, with accessibility for pushchairs and mobility scooters being a priority. 

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For its part, a spokesperson for the University of Reading said: “We have a very good relationship with the council on environment issues such as waste and recycling, and have again this year run an extensive ‘moving out’ campaign, with a range of partners including the students’ union, council, and others, to encourage students who’ve moved out over the summer to dispose of any waste or unwanted items responsibly.

“This involves delivering information and resources directly to addresses and areas known to contain student households – as well as sharing information and advice via email, social media and websites.

“For example, we work with charities to encourage students to donate any usable unwanted household items to charity shops.

Reading Chronicle: The rubbish dumped in Blenheim Road, East Reading. Credit: James Aldridge, Local Democracy Reporting Service

“We also contact students when they move into houses in the community to encourage them to be good neighbours and help look after their local area.

“This includes reminding them of their responsibilities around waste and recycling.”

Over 800 information packs were sent out to more than 26 streets at the end of May informing students on how to dispose of waste properly.

The university also hired a community liaison officer in April to manage relations with neighbours.

Finally, an extra waste pick up to deal with waste left by students is scheduled for this Saturday (July 9).