Saturday, 13 April 2013

Council gives reassurance about civic amenity issues at Riverside

Further to the concerns I recently raised on behalf of residents, I have now received assurances from the City Council Environment Director that the issues that caused problems last Saturday at the Riverside Civic Amenity Centre are being tackled.   Last Saturday, residents bringing recycling to the site first thing in the morning found they joined a long queue of people unable to deposit recycling as the skips were full from the night before.

I received a number of complaints from constituents about the situation at Riverside and I have now received a response from the City Council’s Environment Director indicating :

“We are aware of the issues at Riverside last weekend and are taking steps to ensure this is addressed for the future. This was due to an operational issue that was unrelated to the recent changes to the Recycling Centres. We would apologise to any of your constituents and any other member of the public who were inconvenienced by this temporary problem.”

I had also sought assurances about tackling the flooding problem at Riverside Civic Amenity site that has previously resulted in interruptions in service and also the need to improve the road surface of Wright Avenue leading to the site.   The Environment Director has advised:

“Following an investigation by the City Engineer, works are to be undertaken to deal with the immediate flooding issues.   I would also confirm that we are aware of the road condition and again are taking advice from the City Engineer on this matter.”

I have said also important that the council reviewed what could be recycled at its two remaining civic amenity sites at Baldovie and Riverside.    At present, residents cannot deposit rubble, bulky or mixed waste at Riverside or garden waste at Baldovie.    

If there are only two main sites left in the city following the Marchbanks closure, the two remaining sites must provide the full scope of services.   It is not reasonable to expect someone who lives in the east of the city to have to travel right across Dundee to Riverside to deposit garden waste.   Similarly, constituents in the West End have to drive right across the city to Baldovie to deposit bulky waste.    In terms of sustainability, that makes no sense whatsoever and the council must review this as a matter of urgency.

The Environment Director has responded:

“I confirm that as an interim arrangement and to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to our service users, we continued to provide a temporary facility at Baldovie and Riverside for those who turned up unaware of the changes.   Anyone doing so was advised that they would be allowed to use this interim facility on that particular visit but were advised on the new arrangements for future.   This arrangement will be withdrawn very shortly. 

As you are aware these changes have been introduced as part of the budgetary process and to help deal with the significant financial pressures the council is facing. The impact on carbon emissions as a consequence of these changes is virtually neutral as the increase in private car emissions is largely offset by the reduction in emissions from council HGV's which previously had to transfer these materials back and forth across the city from Riverside to Baldovie and vice-versa.”

I have requested sight of the evidence regarding vehicle emissions as I really find it difficult to accept that the very significant additional private car emissions will be “largely offset” by less council HGV emissions and would wish to see what modelling has been undertaken to evidence such an assertion.

I would reiterate my view that if there are only two main civic amenity sites in a city of 145 000 people and these two sites are 9.3 miles apart, both sites should have the full facilities to avoid unnecessary private vehicle movements across the city.