Parents predict 'big mess' over fortnightly nappy collections
1:02pm Sunday 27th October 2013 in News
BIG MESS: Steven Griffiths and his wife Kath are concerned that incontinence pads and nappies are only picked up once a fortnight. PICTURE Western Telegraph. (1783544)
THE parents of a severely disabled woman are asking for more help from the county council following the changeover to fortnightly rubbish collection.
Steven and Kath Griffiths are full-time carers for their 40-year-old daughter Catherine, who has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and curvature of the spine.
As a result of her condition, Catherine cannot talk, feed herself or walk, and she is doubly incontinent.
As part of her care, Mrs and Mrs Griffiths have to regularly change Catherine’s incontinence pads, usually between five and seven times every day.
But the recent change to fortnightly black bag collection is causing the family problems.
Mr Griffiths, 65, said they accrue around four black bags a fortnight, with the bulk made up of the soiled pads, and are afraid to overfill the bags in case they split.
The couple are unhappy that the used pads are building up and don’t have anywhere to store them hygienically. They believe that people who use nappies or incontinence pads should get extra help from the council.
“I’m sure there are loads of carers in this same situation,” said Mr Griffiths, who is Catherine’s step-dad.
“I understand the need for Pembrokeshire County Council to save money and recycle more, but I feel they’re bulldozing changes in and dealing with the repercussions afterwards,” he added.
The couple have approached the county council about acquiring a lockable wheelie bin to store their bags in, but say they have been told they would need to pay for one.
“We pay enough anyway,” said Mr Griffiths.
A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council said the authority was aware of the couple’s concerns.
“Hygiene waste is classed as household waste and therefore will be collected fortnightly in black bag collections,” they said.
“We advise householders that such waste should be wrapped securely or sealed in a bag before being placed in the black bag.
“If people are concerned about storage we suggest that, subject to space, they put such waste in a bin or similar container or cover up the waste with an old sheet or carpet between collections.
“The roll out of fortnightly black bag collections across the county has progressed relatively smoothly so far and we are very grateful to the cooperation of residents.”
But the couple are determined to not let the issue slide.
Mrs Griffiths said: “I think it’s going to cause real problems, we’re going to end up in a big mess.”