Reading mum’s desperation as missed bins attract rats

A mum has expressed desperation over weeks of missed bin collections from her narrow street in Reading which has attracted rats to the area ‘for the first time’.

Natasha Peppiatt, 45, of Foxglove Gardens near the town centre, has complained that her general waste bin hasn’t been collected for eight weeks. She says this has led to rats coming to the area to scavenge from the festering rubbish.

Ms Peppiatt said: “Recently I found a dead rat in my back garden.

“I’ve lived here for 14 years, I’ve never had rats in my garden. Now they walk down the streets, among the bins, they do what they want.

“There are children here, we have families who need to get rid of nappies, it’s a nightmare.”

Ms Peppiatt sent proof of the rat presence in a photo of a dead animal which the Local Democracy Reporting Service has chosen not to publish. 

READ MORE: Reading food business forced closed due to rat infestation

Foxglove Gardens is a cul-de-sac made up of terraced and semi-detached homes.

Although her recycling bin was collected recently, she said that it had been left to fester for four weeks.

She suggested that bin staff could agree a collection point with neighbours rather than leave bins uncollected.

Ms Peppiatt said: “If they can’t get down the street they should at least organise a collection point. Nothing has been done.

“They typically won’t take extra bags, but if the bags are left there we’re going to get more rats.”

Although Ms Peppiatt knows the council is hoping to buy a narrow bin lorry, she feared the problem would re-occur.

Ms Peppiatt said: “If they’re not going to get it by September next year at the earliest, we could have something like this going through all summer.”

READ MORE: Answer finally given on call for smaller bin lorry for narrow streets in Reading

A council spokesperson said narrow access and poorly parked cars can block collections, and while workers try to collect waste on scheduled collection days, they may be prevented from doing so because of blocked access.

Therefore, bin crews will attempt to return to collect waste and leave notices on cars impeding access.

Explaining the case at Foxglove Gardens, the spokesperson said: “Collections have been continuously provided throughout the period, but those collections have not always been delivered on the scheduled dates as a result of denied vehicular access.

“The recycling collection scheduled for October 27 failed to be completed due to blocked access and following several rescheduled collections, was collected on November 12 with all accumulated excess waste removed at that time.

READ MORE: Neighbours dismay over weeks of missed bin collections in Katesgrove

“The most recent domestic waste collection of November 17 did not take place as scheduled but was successfully collected the morning after, with a small amount of bagged excess waste also cleared.

“As of Friday all of the narrow roads in the area were able to be totally cleared as vehicles were parked appropriately close to the kerb to permit access.

“We are unable to comment on specific household issues without further information and would invite the resident to make contact with waste services to address the issue directly.”

Finally, the spokesperson added the council is seeking to buy a narrow bin lorry but is unable to provide further details at this stage.

Previously, Karen Rowland (Labour, Abbey), lead councillor for environmental services, said the council hopes to acquire the lorry late next year.

Reading Chronicle | Town Centre