Parkinson’s sufferer slams North Herts District Council over bins saga

Mary Hall, who has parkinson's disease, has been having problems with her bin collection by North He

Mary Hall, who has parkinson's disease, has been having problems with her bin collection by North Herts District Council. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

An elderly lady living with Parkinson’s disease and other illnesses has said it’s “absolutely disgusting” that her bins have not been collected from her Royston home for more than a month.

Mary Hall’s bins were supposed to be collected and returned to her home on Monday, May 14 – the first day the new North Herts District Council’s contract with waste firm Urbaser came into effect. Workers also must take her bins and bring them back to her home as she is unable to due to health problems.

Mary told the Crow: “I’m nearly 75, i’ve got Parkinson’s, COPD, a blood clot and I’ve had a stroke – how am I supposed to sort out the bins?

“I have to have help from the binmen to ensure the bins are collected and brought back, and they rarely did it before – so much so that I was having to get to the door and stand there to make sure.

“Now they’re not being collected at all. I keep ringing up the council, and it’s been so stressful.

“It’s absolutely disgusting how this has been handled, I’m furious. Now when I try to report it I cannot get through at all.

“I’ve got enough to deal with without this rubbish. I have paid £40 for the service and I’m a pensioner, so this is a lot of money for me – and it’s getting worse.

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“I am definitely not letting it go but, even if they do start collecting again, I will always be worried they won’t come.

“With my illnesses I can’t be dealing with this stress, and I can’t move quickly to get outside the door.”

Morag Braithwate also lives in Royston and has had her bins collected and returned for the last five years due to disability.

She told the Crow: “Our bins were not emptied last week. The purple bin wasn’t emptied this week and the new food caddy bin hasn’t been emptied for the last two weeks.

“It is an appalling situation, particularly as we have been made to pay an extra £40 and are not receiving any service at all. As someone who is disabled I rely on the bins being emptied.

“I have reported the problem online on at least four occasions and tried to call NHDC, but the calls ring out after two minutes so you can’t get through at all by phone! It’s a disgrace.”

Councillor Michael Weeks, responsible for waste management and recycling at the district council, said: “We hold records for residents who have registered for our assisted collections that are accurate and up-to-date. However it is possible that some residents who receive an assisted service may have been impacted by other issues we are currently experiencing, which have resulted in some bin collections being delayed or missed.

“We are working hard with our waste contractor Urbaser to resolve these issues and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. We ask that residents please contact us directly to advise about any missed assisted collections either by calling 0800 328 6023 or via our online forms.”