Binmen's attitude is 'rubbish'

PUBLISHED: 10:44 16 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:01 11 May 2010

James Bilton with his neighbour's brown bin

James Bilton with his neighbour's brown bin

WHEN binmen refused to take away a brown bin they didn t expect to be trapped in the street by an angry resident. The normal run in Elliot Road, Royston, turned into a war of words and a stand-off between the binmen and roofer Jason Bilton who blocked th

WHEN binmen refused to take away a brown bin they didn't expect to be trapped in the street by an angry resident.

The normal run in Elliot Road, Royston, turned into a war of words and a stand-off between the binmen and roofer Jason Bilton who blocked the road with his neighbour's bin with him leaning defiantly on it trapping the dustcart and its crew.

Trouble erupted when the binmen refused to take the brown bin claiming it was contaminated with stones, a sweet wrapper and a piece of plastic.Under North Herts District Council regulations brown bins should only contain garden waste.

Hearing the problem his neighbour was having, Mr Bilton, 39, married with two children, marched out and removed the offending items. But the binmen still refused to empty the bin saying it remained contaminated during the incident on Monday last week.

Mr Bilton then saw red and wheeled the bin into the middle of the road and leaned on it trapping the lorry and its crew.

"They were shocked when they realised they were going nowhere. I had removed the items they didn't like and still stood there saying they were not taking the bin," said Mr Bilton.

"It was their jobsworth attitude that angered me standing rigidly by their rules.

"I picked out a handful of small stones and a piece of plastic. When you're pulling up old plants and roots you are bound to get the odd stone. My neighbour didn't know what to do but I couldn't stand by and do nothing when jobsworth binmen were making her life a misery.

"When they decided not to take the bin I just thought enough is enough and blocked the road in our cul-de-sac and we stood there for an hour."

During that time the binmen called their bosses at the district council asking for help and another vehicle eventually took the waste away.

A district council spokesman said: "The crew were unable to clear a recycling bin due to it containing a lot of unrecyclable material, including gravel, lumps of concrete and plastic from a garden chair.

"Obviously, the crew did not empty the bin due to the contamination present, but correctly stickered the bin detailing why the collection had not occurred. Had they taken the bin, the whole of their lorry load would have had to go to landfill instead of being recycled.

"A neighbour intervened and remonstrated with the crew whilst standing in the middle of the road forcing the collection crew and the lorry to cease work.

"The neighbour did remove some concrete and gravel from the bin before the arrival of a supervisor, but a large amount of gravel and other contaminants remained.

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