These bags of rubbish appeared yesterday and they have already begun to smell. The ones in the foreground are in front of an empty plot where a house has been demolished. The piles of bags in the distance, to the left and right, are outside “HMOs” or “multiple occupancy houses” but they are probably not responsible for them. HMOs are one of the consequences of the “buy to let” phenomenon, where one or more properties are bought to rent out for a profit. Rents are now so high that houses are often shared rather than being tenanted by individuals or families. HMOs seem to generate far more rubbish than family households. Those living in them are also less inclined to use the recycling facilities. This may be because in family based households a duty such as sorting out recycling and putting the rubbish out for collection is automatically undertaken by the same adult. In a shared household it may be left to whoever ends up doing it because others have forgotten or avoided it.
I suspect that there are some landlords who have responded to complaints by neighbours about disorganised rubbish disposal by collecting it themselves from their properties and getting rid of it somehow. This end of Bennetts Avenue has been a flytipping hotspot for years and the situation has been made worse because the “blind spot” in front of an electricity substation has been made bigger by the demolition. If no one lives there there won’t be a complaint about it. It is just as unlikely that those sharing an HMO will bother to complain unless the situation becomes intolerable.
The regular rubbish and recycling collection in this street will not take place for another day. In the meantime every passing dog, rat and fox will give these bags some attention so that, by the time these bags are picked up, there will probably be an unpleasant mess here. It is hard to know how to encourage residents to take personal responsibility for rubbish disposal, especially if those concerned have little or no personal investment in an area and are unlikely to stay there for long.
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