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Inquiry into Cornwall's Rubbish Crisis

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7:01am 20th April 2012

Pirate FM has learnt there could be an inquiry into Cornwall's rubbish crisis.

Families across the Duchy have told Pirate FM they have got bags piling up on their doorsteps since a new collection system came in. Locals in Launceston report rats. Another man said he had not had his recycling collected in five weeks.

Lynne Clemo from St Austell said, "I live in st Austell, our rubbish hasn't been collected at all since new contractors took over. So if missed again today, this will be week three with no collections! We have approx 50 or more refuse sacks outside as we put them at one collection point to make it easier for the men. As you can imagine the seagulls, cats and no doubt rats have been having a go at the bags and I have been having to go and re-bag putrid rubbish, most of which doesn't belong to me but unfortunately the collection point is adjacent to my garage!"

More than a hundred people posted their experiences on Pirate FM's Facebook site within hours.

Julian German is in charge of waste at Cornwall Council. He said, "Obviously we've picked up a number of issues, properties that have been missed out, and that's been fed into the system so the contractors know these properties should be on the route. It is a massive change, rolling this out to 250,000 households and changing all the collection routes to make them more efficient. We apologise for missed collections but rates will improve."

But a council helpline has been inundated with more than 38,000 calls from frustrated locals. Some say they have sent emails that have gone unanswered or been promised a collection within two days - that never materialises.

Now Pirate FM has learnt that a powerful committee is planning to investigate what has gone wrong. Councillors agreed that, "If necessary ... an inquiry session is held by the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee to investigate the reputational effect on Cornwall Council of the new waste contract and potential future contract handling, as the start of an inquiry process."

7:01am 20th April 2012

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