A LEADING trader has called on the district council to halt the ‘environmental catastrophe’ of overflowing waste bins in a Teignmouth street.

Keith Underhill, chair of Teignmouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce said: ‘I thought people ought to see the problems I witnessed this afternoon, Saturday, in Pound Lane Teignmouth.

‘There is raw meat and other foodstuffs strewn along the lane.

‘Pound Lane already suffers with a “rat problem” and after viewing the photographs, you can understand the reasons why.

‘We really do need Devon County Council to enforce the legal requirements of no waste bins on the highway.

‘The residents of Pound Lane, French Street, Hollands Road and Regent Street should not have to put up with this Environmental catastrophe on their doorstep.

‘Teignmouth has problems with inconsiderate fly tipping, but more especially the fact that the council does not enforce their own rules and regulations, to prevent scenes like these becoming a regular occurrence around the town.

‘The High Street is suffering enough, without our visitors having to witness this mess, and the town’s residents having to put up with it.’

This comes a week after district and county Councillor David Cox raised fears that Teignmouth is in danger of becoming ‘BINmouth’ as more commercial bins crowd the town centre streets.

He pointed out that businesses in the town are required to have a commercial bin for waste but increasingly, the large, industrial-size refuse containers are causing obstruction on the pavements.

In addition to creating issues for pedestrians, the bins are now attracting fly-tippers, he said.

Cllr Cox believes there should be an ‘agreed approach’ to reduce the numbers of commercial bins left permanently on roads and pavements.

He says residents and businesses are fed up with the unsightly appearance and negative impact.

As well as creating an eyesore and attracting fly-tipping and littering, the bins are also obstructing the pavements and creating hazards.

The Teignbridge Blitz Team are clearing up, almost daily, fly-tipping by unauthorised trade bin areas.  

Cllr Cox said: ‘I understand local businesses have a tough time with the ‘cost of living crisis’ right after Covid, so any solution must be reasonably priced.

‘I’m getting more complaints from residents and businesses. 

‘We need to get a solution fast, to get the trade bins off the streets. I don’t want to see a zero-tolerance policy with big fines like Brighton. At the end of the day it is the responsibility of the business to make arrangements for the disposal of their waste.”

More and more commercial bins are being stored on the highway which is illegal under the Environment Act unless they are being left out specifically on collection days.

‘Whilst other councils have a zero-tolerance approach, I‘d like to see if we can get a scheme operating. I know some traders have become used to paying nothing and putting their trade bin on the highway; that is not a sustainable as more businesses put bins on the highway (Costa Coffee by the post office) and yet more businesses complain about them!

‘I want see if we can get the alley way between Bank Street and Calmpet Lane, gated and the right of way removed. There is a garage owned by Teignbridge in George street that could be used to store trade bins. We may have to have some trade bins on the pavement, they should be required to have a permit and be either out of sight or disgusted by plant boxes.

Cllr Cox said: ‘Not only do they create an eyesore but also attract anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and littering.

‘They also provide a nuisance obstructing pavements and creating hazards.’

Council can take enforcement action under section 47 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, with large fines for trade bins left on the highway.

Such waste can be cleared by Teignbridge Council’s Blitz team but Cllr Cox says, within days, the problem re-occurs.

He said there have been incidents with residents using mobility scooters risking falling over or falling off by having to negotiate riding off the pavement to get by the bins. And he said the rubbish dumping and littering is costing tax payers money by increasing visits by the Blitz clearance teams.

A spokesperson for Teignbridge Council said: ‘Having had this to drawn to our attention we will ask one of our Community Environment Wardens to visit the area to talk to local businesses and identify any steps that can be taken to improve the situation.’