Tesco's Rubbish ~ Tesco-Complaint

Friday, January 12, 2007

Tesco's Rubbish

I am writing to complain about the horrible mess on the canal path at the rear of Tesco's branch at Tring Road in Aylesbury, Bucks. This canal runs alongside the rear of the Tesco's Store in Tring Road, Aylesbury, right next to their carpark and recycling enclosure.

On Boxing Day 2006 a family walk turned into horror at this sight. The following day we notified the Tesco's store in person - the initial response was 'it is nothing to do with us - it is a council matter', eventually we spoke to the manager who would 'look into it.'

We walked along the canal on Sunday (7th Jan) and the situation remains unchanged - if anything it is worse! No effort has been made to clear the original rubbish and more is escaping from their recycling facility. [T-C: So much for being green!]

I have now made the local Newspaper and Radio Stations aware of the problem and was interviewed by the Buck Herald yesterday and Three Counties Radio this morning. Surely, we all have a responsibility to keep the environment clear of rubbish - as we are told 'every little helps' when are Tesco's going to do their little?

RH, Aylesbury.

More pictures can also be downloaded here
Link to slideshow


Tesco Manager said...

Those recycling bins are usually the councils property and maintained by them. Tesco just allow them to be placed in the carpark.

This is just another example of the expectation that Tesco is here to mop up after the general public's lazy and arrogant attitute. It's because people persist in over-filling these bins or just dump it on the ground if the bins become full up.

Al said...

To be fair though, TM, that does look suspiciously like the contents of the carrier bag recycling units. These are collected by Tesco staff and returned via RSU therefore it would be Tesco's responsibility to clean that mess up.

TM said...

Yes it would, but those things get filled up really quickly even before we get a chance to empty them, we empty them at least once a day at my store, however customers just keep filling them up or dumping the bags all around it.

RH said...

As I said in the original post, we first saw this rubbish on Boxing Day and complained to the store the following day. To be fair I did leave it over a week before contacting the media etc. I have also now discovered that the store had a similiar problem last year, so they really should have been monitoring the situation more closely. Al, you are right the vast majority of the mess is carrier bags and it does continue for 150-200 yards along the canal path.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm its customers that dump it there.

Tesco Manager said...

Tesco have contractors who clear rubbish from the carpark area, whether or not this would fall under their contract I do not know. What I do know, is it would be difficult to get exsisting members of Tesco staff to complete a job like this as would certainly not fall within their contract, and if the work is outside the store area there would be issue with insurance, health and safety etc. It is quite likely that the store may be attemping to organise a contractor to complete the clear up, but like I said, it's not as simple as just getting one of the staff to do it.

Al said...

This is one of the rare occassions in recent memory where I find myself not agreeing with you, TM.

My old store had the trolley staff empty the recycling units twice a day, first thing in the morning and around 4 or 5pm. They all saw it as part of their job to do so and it was usually done when it should have been. If they were short on there then they would ask one of the warehouse or checkout staff to go over and do so. Those units were on their property.

I don't know about the insurance aspect, but since the recycling units would be on Tesco property then wouldn't their staff be covered?

So how difficult would it be for the store to ask the trolley staff to pop over their a couple of times a day to empty them? I imagine it would fall under a reasonable request and they should be insured to be working in the car parks anyway.

However, while we now know that the store had the same problem last year, it hasn't been made clear whether it's a year round issue or just something that happens around Christmas. If it's the latter then if people are still recycling bags when the store is closed then there would be nobody there to empty them anyway.

It would still be nice if they would arrange for it to be cleared up though as it doesn't do their image any good. Even if they just paid the council to clean it up it would be something.

Tesco Manager said...

Al, I wasn't refering to the emptying of the bins themselves. I meant the clearing of these bags in that canal or the path, like you can see in the pictures. That looks like it's outside of Tesco in like a ditch or something.

But you're right that most stores have the trolley staff empty them everyday.

One other point I do want to make, even if Tesco is to blame for not emptying the bins regulary, they are certainly not to blame for over filling them, that's down to the public, surely it would be obvious that bags left out of the bin could easily blow away (into the "canal path"). Perhaps customers want Tesco to think for them as well as do everything else!

RH said...

When we spoke to the manager on the 27th, she did say it would not be possible to just send a 'lad' down to sort it out. To which, I agreed and suggested she actually go out and look at the mess, as, from my reckoning, it would take a specialist team of contractors a few days to completely clear everything. Most of the rubbish is in the small stream which runs along side the canal completely clogging up the water. This stream I Believe also acts as an overflow for the locks. Now that the local media have become involved (both reporters agreed that this was a serious issue) I understand Tesco's are arranging for specialist contractors to clear the site next week. WATCH THIS SPACE !!

Al said...

Sorry TM, I misunderstood what you were saying there. You're right there then, it wouldn't be up to Tesco to send their staff to clear it as it definitely wouldn't be in their contract and doesn't look like it's on Tesco property.

It is entirely possible then that the store is in the process of getting someone to clear it for them or have notified the local council of the problem. It looks like an area that would be maintained by the council so it probably would be up to them to clear it, even if it is at Tesco's cost.

On a regular business day it could be said that Tesco's failure to empty the bins leads to them being overfilled in the first place and that if they were emptied more often there wouldn't be that problem. As has been said though they do fill up very quickly as they're not the biggest things in the world.

If this occurred as over the Christmas break though it would have been nice if the people who put the bags outside of the bins could have thought about it a bit more. At the very least they could have put all the bags into one and tied the top so that if it did blow away it wouldn't make as much of a mess and would be easier to clear.

Al said...

RH, you posted that as I was writing my comment. Sounds like they're actually doing something then, and all it takes is the threat of neagtive publicity!

It would be great if you are able to let us know if the clean-up actually happens.

rh said...

Al, I don't know if this is a year round issue, we only noticed it on boxing day. We don't normally walk that far along the canal, and this was a little bit extra to wear the kids out. In my opinion, the rubbish had been there a while, not just since Christmas. I will let you know what happens. The Bucks Herald should be covering it in their edition next wednesday.

Al said...

It does look like rather a lot for just a couple of days over Christmas doesn't it?

Hopefully now that they're being forced to clear it they will take some steps to stop it happening again.

tesco-complaint said...

If there is overflow regularly and clearly there is and has been for a year then that is not "the publics" fault, it is Tesco's fault of course because they have failed in at least these ways:

1) Provision of adequate sized facilities
2) Provision of adequate removal
3) Provision of appropriate siting and/or fencing of facilities


Al said...

Wow, we agree on something, tesco-complaint!

Tesco Manager said...

OMG, in your eyes TC (Richard), can the public take NO RESPONSIBILTY for anything at all ever, while on Tesco property or anywhere near it!!

I could think of many examples, where despite any effort on Tesco's part, people will still behave irresponsibly.

We have no obligation as far as I'm aware to provide these facilites, it's provided as something extra, and is free, open to anyone, not just customers.

Secondly, and I've made this point before, in MY EXPERIENCE, and this is far more qualified than most people posting on here (except Al probably!) NO MATTER what provision is, or could be made my Tesco, nothing it seems, is "general public proof". They will find a way to go against any system put in place. I've seen people throw crap out their car window somehwere in the direction of the facility. Once there was broken glass around the area and a car tyre was punctured. This was first thing in the morning before we could even have the chance of checking the car park.

Unless you have made some sort of qualifyed assesment of the site in person, I do not know how you can attempt to declare that Tesco are at fault in this case.

Al said...

I don't think that Tesco has any obligation to provide facilities for the recycling of carrier bags. They do provide them though and therefore have the obligation to either empty them regularly enough so that it doesn't become too full for people to use properly or to provide a facility large enough to cope with the frequency at which they are able to empty them.

Of course, as TM says, there will always be the minority who will dump the bags outside or just throw them in the general direction of the bins. There is nothing Tesco can do to stop this but if they are still there when the bins are emptied they should be collected up with them. If they have been blown away by then there is nothing Tesco can do about it, they can't be expected to roam the local area looking for things which may have blown away from their recycling area as a result of this.

Ultimately, if Tesco provide these facilites then they have an obligation to empty them with sufficient frequency to prevent the mess which seems to have occured in Aylesbury. It's also up to the general public to actually take some responsibility for their own actions and think more carefully about what they do with the bags if the bins are full or to actually use them properly in the first place.

I would agree with Richard though that it appears Tesco have failed in this case. I haven't seen the site for myself so I can only make that assumption on the evidence provided, which is admittedly somewhat biased against Tesco.

tm said...

I'm afraid I disagree. As far as I'm concerned, if the bins are full at the time of anyone wishing to use them, then are effectively "out of service" and the general public, (clever things that they are) should not use them untill they are emptied. Whether or not Tesco haven't emptied them, this does not then make it right for people to use them incorrectly, ie. not place them in the bin securely. Yes, Tesco should empty with enough frequency for this not to happen, but if for any reason this hasn't happened, the answer, like I said before is not misuse the facility and then to simply blame Tesco for everything.

tesco-complaint said...

Human nature dictates if the bin is full people who have collected their recycling or whatever it is will leave it next to it and most may not contemplate or realise the potential for pollution possibly assuming Tesco must be about to collect it since its full.

However Tesco on the other hand knows if it does not empty its bins regularly or provide adequate facilities that pollution will definitely occur and has happened previously. Hence Tesco is fully cogniscant morally culpable for it's reckless pollution.

That Tesco Manager cannot and will not (in the fog of his blind loyalty) see this highlights that he lacks the ability to be objective.

Al said...

I'd have to agree with TC again. Lets be honest TM, would you rather take your take a load of carrier bags back home with you and end up bringing even more back next time to try again? Or would you try and get them in the bins anyway to avoid having to do so?

Rightly or wrongly, I know that if I'm honest I'd choose the latter option.

If Tesco is providing this recycling service then to simply say it becomes out of use when the bins are full doesn't say much for that service.

I know they're open to everyone but let's assume that most people who use them are customers of Tesco. You wouldn't expect them to put up with other things in the store being out of use as frequently as the bins would be, so why should they be any different?

rh said...

Just to clarify, I do not think that this has just been caused by overflow of recyling. It really looks like a whole recycling unit of carrier bags has been spilt out and been blown over to the canal pathway. Anyway, irrespective of the initial cause, IMHO this rubbish has definately come from Tesco's and like an oil spillage from a refinery. Tesco's should take responsibility for clearing it up. We walked again today along the canal for 3 miles and the whole path is reasonably clear of debris for the entire stretch with the exception of this area adjacent to the tesco's store. I estimate all the rubbish would at least fill a large skip. There a lots more photos to download, see the original post.

tm said...

Well, the standard Tesco bag recyling unit wouldn't hold a large skips worth, so it may be a council bin that the rubbish has come from. The Tesco bins hold about 2 trollies worth.

I totally agree Tesco should clear this up, and look how to stop it reocurring, however, it is not the same as an oil spillage, unless refinaries have members of the public filling oil into cans on them!

If this rubbish had come from the yard behind the store, where store waste and recylcing is taken, then yes I would be taking a different view. However, yet again, the situation could have easily been caused by the public, or at least made worse, as I have seen this behaviour first hand.

tm said...

Tesco Complaint, it is you who lacks the ability to be objective on any matter raised on this site.

rh said...

TM. Thanks, glad we do agree on something. I am not normally one to beat my drum. But, in this instance I did not feel that anything would be done without media involvement. The stores initial response was not very helpful. I do understand from the council that Tesco's have promised to clear it up by the end of the week. And if they do, I will be the first one to pat them on the back.

tesco-complaint said...

Our society is being urged to recycle more and more and Tesco are meant to be "GREEN" - its easy to have a TV ad saying Tesco are green but why is it not easy for Tesco to realise that as mroe and more people start recycling month on month that they need to step up the recycling effort on their side as well and empty the bins and have larger bins? It only takes a second to figure it out! Even you Tesco Manager can't deny that!

Anonymous said...

tesco should empty the bins more regulary. they put the facility there for no other reason than to coincide with their media campaign of being "Green". To be honest, they couldn't give a toss, but its part of a marketing campaign, and as the bins themselves make the store no money, they have no regard for them. in my local store the air pump for tyres has been out of order for months and months, and i used to work in the store, and their attitude was "well it doesnt make us money, its not a priority" this machine is still broken.
Why provide the public with facilities and then fail to maintain them?

rh said...

To update, after speaking to a local radio station this morning. I went along to the site and am pleased to report that I found that a team of 3 private contractors had started to clear the rubbish, I will check again later on this week to make sure everything is cleared.

Al said...

That's good news, hopefully it will stay clear now. Just imagine how bad it would have been if you hadn't bothered.

tm said...

I don't disagree that the situaton at this store was not a good one. I think that Tesco should take responsibilty for the clean up, and look at ways to improve the facility so it doesn't happen again.

The point I won't agree on is about this "absolute" blame for the situation on Tesco. Again, im my experience, Tesco can put in as many safe guards as posible and try to make things as simple, but there will always be those few people who will go against it.

For example, Tesco have 5mph speed limit in the car park, but there are always idiots racing around. Now if they hit someone, would this be Tesco's fault?

Al said...

Not to mention the people who go the wrong way round the car park. Customers don't necessarily expect a car to come from behind them when the road markings and all the other cars are coming towards them.

Anonymous said...

If the recylcing bins are the councils property and maintained by them surely you should be complaining to them and not Tesco?! Are Tesco not providing a service by having them on their car park in the first place - what more do you want from them?? How are they to stop people from overfilling them? Do you propose that they have a 24 hour guard for the recycle bins??
If you were that concerned you would have collected the rubbish yourself and placed it inside the recycle bins - have you got a legitimate complaint against Tesco or are you just jumping on the bash Tesco band waggon??

Al said...

First of all, it's already been established that the bins are in fact Tesco property and as such they are responsible for emptying them. If they are going to provide that service then they make sure they are emptied as often as appropriate whether it is once a day or several times a day. You wouldn't expect them to negelect a service in store so that it is frequently out of use (which the bins effectively are when they are full) as often as every day so why whould the recycling service be any different?

Secondly, how do you expect one person to collect a couple of skip loads of rubbish themselves? Even if they did it sure as hell wouldn't fit in a recycling bin.

Perhaps you should try reading the discussion before you comment.

TM said...

Just a quick build on the current debate.

I had a look at the recycling centre at my store and another recently and noticed there are in fact council plastic recyling bins as well as the "Tesco" bins usually at the front of the store.

It is possible that the bins concerned in the original post could have been council owned and operated. I guess it depends on each local council.

sexy and intelligent said...

Hhhmmmm ...... I've just read through and I can't find any reference to the bins being Tesco property. Infact it says twice that it's possible for them to be council property.
Don't be mean to Anon for attempting to join the great debate!
I agree that not one person could have picked that ammount of rubbish up - I wouldn't suggest it either as it's possible that there could be broken glass or something else that could have caused injury.
I think it's great that something is being done to clear the canal path. It is, however, a shame that no party wanted to take ownership of the mess and therefore clean it up until the media were involved.

Al said...

I said in the second comment: "These are collected by Tesco staff and returned via RSU therefore it would be Tesco's responsibility to clean that mess up." Admittedly it doesn't say explicitly that Tesco own the things but that is implied. I thought I had stated that but obviously not.

TM, because I had nothing better to do today I went to the nearest store to me and had a look (I also did some shopping, so I'm not THAT sad, honest). I hadn't really noticed before since their recycling area is round the back of the store on the entrance road to their petrol station and staff car park. They have a number of council owned skip like containers for glass, paper and plastic and three bins speifically for carrier bag recycling. I also noticed that they had a four sided roll cage by the main entrance for recycling carrier bags for those customers who weren't going round the back.

The carrier bag bins in the recycling area definitely belonged to Tesco, they were adorned with the Tesco logo and everything. There was even a member of staff emptying them as I left.

It was interesting to note that there was no rubbish around the recycling area and definitely not anything on the same scale as the original poster discovered. Just goes to show that with adequate provision and frequent emptying there are few problems.

Anonymous said...

Common don't be such a sad mug! the end of the day that has nothing to do with the supermarket. it has mor to do with lazy, bone idled people who drop litter!
those of such would have so much time on their hands and write crap stories like this one!

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