Bin collection chaos

First published in News

FRUSTRATED Dudley residents complaining about their bin collections are being left waiting on hold for long periods of time, as Dudley Council Plus is inundated with telephone calls.

Residents claim Dudley Council "are not bothered" about the mess left on their pavements, after binmen failed to pick up bags again this week.

But those who have contacted the News during the week about the new refuse collection rules, have all said they have been unable to get through to the council's hotline to report their problems.

Matt Stevens, from New Rowley Road, said he phoned the helpline every day for a week after binmen left behind his two bin bags, which were placed correctly on the kerbside.

The 28 year-old said: "Our bin day is Tuesday and when I found they had left them, I phoned that afternoon.

When I finally got through, they said they would come back and collect them, so I left them out, but nothing happened.

"We kept calling and they kept saying they would come out, but it has now been a week and the cats have been attacking them, magpies have got at them and the rubbish was strewn all over the road and pavement.

"I had to collect it up because I was sick of seeing it everywhere – but now I will have four bags to put out, so they will probably only take three and leave another one.”

Pensioner Mr Hedges from Falcon Way in Russells Hall fears it had cost him "pounds and pounds" in call charges after making numerous calls to report his left bag.

The 86 year-old said: “I put my bin bag at the end of my drive, which is around three yards from the kerbside, but they didn't take it, so I phoned and I phoned and I phoned and I was on hold one time for about 20 minutes.

“In the end I had to put the phone down. And when I finally got through after many attempts they said they would come out and collect it, but they never did and now I've got two bags to put out. I pay my rates, so why aren't I getting the service?”

Another pair of disgruntled disabled pensioners in Saltwells, who have been phoning for days on end, said all they hear is a recorded message saying there is a high level of calls about bin collections.

Eric Williams, aged 84, of Ashfield Crescent, said he was complaining after binmen walked down the eight steps and past his and his neighbour's bag twice, which was outside their front doors, to post a letter saying they were not going to pick them up unless they are on the kerbside.

Mr Williams said: “Me and my neighbour, who is 87, both have had strokes and can't do a lot, we've both got a stick and a handrail on the steps and can't walk with a bin bag as well to put the bag on the kerbside.

“They have always taken it from the doorstep, and they had to pass the bags twice to post the letter, it wouldn't have been much to take them.

“Dudley Council is not taking into consideration older people of this borough, if I was able, I would take the bag to the kerbside.

“I just think they are suffering from idleitis."

A spokesman for Dudley Council, said: “We carry out bin collections for around 135,000 properties and any change in service will inevitably result in queries and questions from the public. Our call centre, Dudley Council Plus, is set up to respond to residents' queries and staff have worked hard over the last week responding to over 1,000 calls for information about the bin collection changes.”

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