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Stowmarket: Anger as binmen refuse to empty ‘overfilled’ wheelie bin

Helen Read from Stowmarket, is furious that the bin men won't empty her wheelie bin after it was left open by four inches - due to health and saftey reasons.

Helen Read from Stowmarket, is furious that the bin men won't empty her wheelie bin after it was left open by four inches - due to health and saftey reasons.

Archant

A businesswoman has branded a council jobsworths after her rubbish was not emptied because the bin lid was four inches ajar.

Mid Suffolk District Council said the binmen were not obliged to take the rubbish because the barely-open lid presented a “health and safety” hazard.

Helen Read, 47, who runs an oven-cleaning company, returned to her home, in Phoenix Way, Stowmarket, last Wednesday and was surprised to find that the bags of waste in her bin had not been removed.

“Ours was the only one that hadn’t been emptied,” she said.

After contacting the council she was told the rubbish in her bin had not been taken due to “health and safety” reasons.

She said: “They were adamant that they will not collect the bin because the lid was up, due to health and safety. They will not collect it now for another two weeks – some of it will be in there for a month. It’s ridiculous really.

“We could understand if the bin was completely full and overfilled but we pushed down the lid and it did shut. It was only open by four inches.

“It’s just really frustrating. They said it doesn’t matter how much it is open – if the lid is ajar or open in any way they will not empty it.”

Ms Read, who lives with partner Kevin Eagle and son Aaron, 15, said she would now have to take some of her rubbish to the household waste site as she had been left with no other option.

A Mid Suffolk District Council spokesman said the authority had “unambiguous” guidelines on how people should fill their bins.

He said: “The mechanism for emptying bins is on the back of the rubbish carts and if a bin is over-full and the waste distribution is not as expected there have been incidents in the past of people being injured.

“The policy is to say that bins which have the lids open won’t be collected.”

He said the refuse collection team did have some discretion allowing them to remove bags from the top of bins before attaching them to the truck mechanisms for emptying.

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