There was a time when bin men would sling a steel bin over their shoulders and carry it to the garbage truck before tipping it in. This all came to an abrupt halt with the invention of the wheeled bin. From that day, bin men and bin ladies stopped carrying bins. They would be wheeled to the truck, hooked up, and then the truck would do the lifting. Although, not every council adopted the wheeled bin.
This week we learned that Castle Point Council still only collect black bin sacks from the roadside. The Echo reported Nicola Litman’s story. She paid £150 for 3 new bins, with the hope of making her life easier (and cleaner). Several of her neighbours also bought the same new bins. However, she has now been informed that Castle Point waste workers cannot empty her new bins due to health and safety reasons. She must place her bags of rubbish in the street.
The residents on St Mary’s Road in Benfleet invested in the new bins as the current system of leaving rubbish sacks on the roadside meant that foxes would tear the bags apart at night and leave food waste littered all over the pavement and road. In the mornings children would have to navigate their way around partially rotted food and cars would help spread the muck down the street as they passed. The introduction of a proper rubbish bin seemed like a good idea.
The bin men have been informed by the council (or so it is assumed) that they are not insured to remove the bin bags from the wheely bins. Instead the residents must continue to leave the sacks on the roadside for collection.
Nicola Litman fails to see what difference it makes for a waste disposal employee to lift a bin bag from a bin or from the ground:
“It’s ludicrous, where’s the sense in that? I don’t see the difference between emptying the wheely bins or taking the rubbish from the path. We’ve wasted our money and also it’s the litter side of it. Even when you put the sacks out in the morning foxes still rip the bags to shreds and the dustbin men won’t pick the rubbish up that’s been pulled out.”
Castle Point have defended their decision by saying that a majority of residents wanted to keep the sacks and not replace them with bins. The council provides the sacks and their trucks do not have bin lifts fitted, so that refuse collectors cannot empty the bins into the truck without first removing the sacks, and this poses a potential health and safety risk.
“Retrieving waste from a wheeled bin can be problematic and there are health and safety issues associated with reaching down into deep sided bins to remove waste at the bottom of the bins.”
Residents can still store their waste in a bin during the week, but it must be removed prior to collection.
This seems to be another case of health and safety gone mad and the only winners are the foxes.