A MAN has taken it upon himself to clean up maggot-infested bins which have been left overflowing near a children's play park for weeks.

Tim Townsend, 33, said he is "disgusted" that the bins, located near the Co-op and children's play area in Wallingford Road, Popley, have been left unemptied and overflowing "for weeks".

"The smell is like nothing you've ever smelled," Tim said, "I feel sick."

Tim said he had reported the issue to the council prior to contacting the Gazette, but nothing had been done about it. After contacting the council, the Gazette understands that the land in question, including the play area and bins, is under the responsibility of the housing association, Vivid.

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Basingstoke Gazette: Tim with the sacks of rubbish he cleaned upTim with the sacks of rubbish he cleaned up (Image: Tim Townsend)


"The absolute state of it. I rang the council a month ago and nothing has been done. It makes you wonder, we pay our council tax, and they fine you for dropping litter, but where is the money going?, he said. 

"I decided enough is enough and I had to do something about it, it's a health hazard." 

Concerned about the smell and the sheer amount of waste which had spread into the nearby play area, Tim emptied the bins on Saturday, May 26.

Basingstoke Gazette: One of the overflowing bins in the play parkOne of the overflowing bins in the play park (Image: Tim Townsend)

"I filled six rubbish bags and I'd never seen anything like it. The smell was so bad. There was so much dog poo and one bin had all these maggots alive in a bag of sandwiches.

"There is still so much left that I couldn't clean."

Tim's main concern was the safety of local children who, when the weather is nice, often play outside in the area.

"It's the little kids on bikes that made me want to do it, I saw them playing nearby and felt so sorry for them. I'm worried about the kids, it's not safe for them to play in the park - not that they are anyway because it's too disgusting."

Basingstoke Gazette: Nearby litterNearby litter (Image: Tim Townsend)

Tim told the Gazette how he couldn't comprehend why the bins had been left for so long when the task is regularly completed elsewhere.

"It's a shame because the other park around here is really well maintained, I'll give them that, and this is a nice area to live but it just baffles me that nothing has been done about this. I can't stand litter.

"I've sanitised my hands and washed them about 80 times, I want to go and get in the bath after this.

"It shouldn't be left to someone like me who actually cares about the area, to clean it. The bins don't just need emptying, they need a thorough clean. They should take a pressure washer out once a year and sort it, it's a day's work.

"I just hope that they get into gear and do something about it."

Margaret Dodwell, chief operating officer for Vivid, said: "Ensuring the communities our customers live are comfortable and pleasant places is always our priority.

“Ensuring the communities our customers live are comfortable and pleasant places is always our priority. The bins in this particular area are the responsibility of a managing company. 

"We have ensured the bins have been emptied and the area has been cleared.

"We are conducting a review and will put in place additional measures with the management company to ensure this situation does not reoccur.

"We will continue to monitor this and raise any future issues with the management company  responsible."